IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nev/wpaper/wp201103.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Valuing Health Risk Changes Using a Life-Cycle Consumption Framework

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen C. Newbold

Abstract

Government agencies routinely use the “value of a statistical life” (VSL) in benefit-cost analyses of proposed environmental and safety regulations. Here I review an alternative approach for valuing health risks using a “life-cycle consumption framework.” This framework is based on an explicit individual-level lifetime utility function over health and income at all ages, and so could be used to examine any pattern of health risk changes over a person’s lifespan. I discuss several potential advantages of this framework, both positive and normative. From a positive perspective, this framework can support a functional benefit transfer approach that is more flexible and potentially more accurate than the standard point-value benefit transfer approach based on the VSL, and it can be used to evaluate mortality and morbidity effects simultaneously in an internally consistent model. From a normative perspective, it provides a natural foundation for a social welfare function and therefore could facilitate a unified evaluation of efficiency and equity, as a supplement to traditional benefit-cost analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen C. Newbold, 2011. "Valuing Health Risk Changes Using a Life-Cycle Consumption Framework," NCEE Working Paper Series 201103, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Apr 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp201103
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-economics/working-paper-valuing-health-risk-changes-using-life-cycle-consumption
    File Function: First version, 2011
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Structural vs. atheoretic approaches to econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 3-20, May.
    2. Kirchhoff, Stefanie & Colby, Bonnie G. & LaFrance, Jeffrey T., 1997. "Evaluating the Performance of Benefit Transfer: An Empirical Inquiry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 75-93, May.
    3. Revesz, Richard & Livermore, Michael, 2008. "Retaking Rationality: How Cost Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195368574, April.
    4. Anna Alberini & Alistair Hunt & Anil Markandya, 2006. "Willingness to Pay to Reduce Mortality Risks: Evidence from a Three-Country Contingent Valuation Study," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(2), pages 251-264, February.
    5. Joseph E. Aldy & W. Kip Viscusi, 2008. "Adjusting the Value of a Statistical Life for Age and Cohort Effects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 573-581, August.
    6. W. Viscusi, 2010. "The heterogeneity of the value of statistical life: Introduction and overview," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, February.
    7. Itaoka, Kenshi & Krupnick, Alan J. & Akai, Makoto & Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen L. & Simon, Nathalie B., 2005. "Age, Health, and the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: A Contingent Valuation Survey in Japan," Discussion Papers 10829, Resources for the Future.
    8. Marc Fleurbaey & Peter Hammond, 2004. "Interpersonally comparable utility," Post-Print hal-00247066, HAL.
    9. Thijs Dekker & Roy Brouwer & Marjan Hofkes & Klaus Moeltner, 2011. "The Effect of Risk Context on the Value of a Statistical Life: a Bayesian Meta-model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(4), pages 597-624, August.
    10. Bergstrom, John C. & Taylor, Laura O., 2006. "Using meta-analysis for benefits transfer: Theory and practice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 351-360, December.
    11. Kniesner Thomas J & Viscusi W. Kip & Ziliak James P, 2006. "Life-Cycle Consumption and the Age-Adjusted Value of Life," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, January.
    12. Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1992. "Do individuals optimize in intertemporal consumption/savings decisions? A liberal method to encourage savings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 101-114, January.
    13. Mary Evans & V. Kerry Smith, 2008. "Complementarity and the Measurement of Individual Risk Tradeoffs: Accounting for Quantity and Quality of Life Effects," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(3), pages 381-400, November.
    14. James Hammitt & Jin-Tan Liu, 2004. "Effects of Disease Type and Latency on the Value of Mortality Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 73-95, January.
    15. Cropper, Maureen L. & G. Sussman, Frances, 1990. "Valuing future risks to life," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 160-174, September.
    16. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 2010. "Consumption and Saving: Models of Intertemporal Allocation and Their Implications for Public Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 693-751, September.
    17. Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen & Krupnick, Alan & Simon, N.B.Nathalie B., 2004. "Does the value of a statistical life vary with age and health status? Evidence from the US and Canada," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 769-792, July.
    18. Leeth, John D & Ruser, John, 2003. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Fatal and Nonfatal Injury Risk by Gender and Race," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 257-277, December.
    19. Robert, Christopher LeBaron & Zeckhauser, Richard Jay, 2010. "The Methodology of Positive Policy Analysis," Scholarly Articles 4450129, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    20. Eeckhoudt, Louis R & Hammitt, James K, 2001. "Background Risks and the Value of a Statistical Life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 261-279, November.
    21. Guang-Zhen Sun & Yew-Kwang Ng, 2009. "The age-dependent value of time: a life cycle analysis," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 97(3), pages 233-250, July.
    22. V. Kerry Smith & George Van Houtven & Subhrendu K. Pattanayak, 2002. "Benefit Transfer via Preference Calibration: "Prudential Algebra" for Policy," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(1), pages 132-152.
    23. Viscusi, W Kip, 2003. "Racial Differences in Labor Market Values of a Statistical Life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 239-256, December.
    24. Harrington, Winston & Portney, Paul R., 1987. "Valuing the benefits of health and safety regulation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 101-112, July.
    25. Christopher D. Carroll & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Consumption Growth Parallels Income Growth: Some New Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 305-348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    27. Scotton, Carol R. & Taylor, Laura O., 2011. "Valuing risk reductions: Incorporating risk heterogeneity into a revealed preference framework," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 381-397, May.
    28. Rachel Baker & Susan Chilton & Michael Jones-Lee & Hugh Metcalf, 2008. "Valuing lives equally: Defensible premise or unwarranted compromise?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 125-138, April.
    29. Brouwer, Roy & Bateman, Ian J., 2005. "Benefits transfer of willingness to pay estimates and functions for health-risk reductions: a cross-country study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 591-611, May.
    30. Moeltner, Klaus & Boyle, Kevin J. & Paterson, Robert W., 2007. "Meta-analysis and benefit transfer for resource valuation-addressing classical challenges with Bayesian modeling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 250-269, March.
    31. Shoven, John B. & Bernheim, B. Douglas (ed.), 1991. "National Saving and Economic Performance," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226044040.
    32. Anna Alberini & Alan Krupnick, 2000. "Cost-of-Illness and Willingness-to-Pay Estimates of the Benefits of Improved Air Quality: Evidence from Taiwan," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(1), pages 37-53.
    33. Smith, V. Kerry & Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. & Van Houtven, George L., 2006. "Structural benefit transfer: An example using VSL estimates," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 361-371, December.
    34. Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Reaffirming the Existence of "Reasonable" Bergson-Samuelson Social Welfare Functions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 44(173), pages 81-88, February.
    35. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2006. "The Value of Health and Longevity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 871-904, October.
    36. B. Douglas Bernheim & John B. Shoven, 1991. "National Saving and Economic Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern91-2, June.
    37. Steven T. Buccola, 1988. "Social Welfare and Interpersonal Utility Comparisons in Applied Policy Research," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 70(2), pages 454-458.
    38. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, June.
    39. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
    40. Trudy Ann Cameron, 2010. "Euthanizing the Value of a Statistical Life," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 161-178, Summer.
    41. Donald S. Shepard & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1984. "Survival versus Consumption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(4), pages 423-439, April.
    42. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1996. "Willingness to Pay and the Distribution of Risk and Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 747-763, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Maureen Cropper & James K. Hammitt & Lisa A. Robinson, 2011. "Valuing Mortality Risk Reductions: Progress and Challenges," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 313-336, October.
    2. James K. Hammitt, 2020. "Valuing mortality risk in the time of COVID-19," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 129-154, October.
    3. Antoine Bommier & Bertrand Villeneuve, 2012. "Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(1), pages 77-104, March.
    4. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters, in: André de Palma & Robin Lindsey & Emile Quinet & Roger Vickerman (ed.), A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Patrick Carlin & Brian E. Dixon & Kosali I. Simon & Ryan Sullivan & Coady Wing, 2022. "How Undervalued is the Covid-19 Vaccine? Evidence from Discrete Choice Experiments and VSL Benchmarks," NBER Working Papers 30118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Cameron, Trudy Ann & DeShazo, J.R., 2013. "Demand for health risk reductions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 87-109.
    7. Hoffmann, Sandra & Qin, Ping & Krupnick, Alan & Badrakh, Burmaajav & Batbaatar, Suvd & Altangerel, Enkhjargal & Sereeter, Lodoysamba, 2012. "The willingness to pay for mortality risk reductions in Mongolia," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 493-513.
    8. Lisa A. Robinson & James K. Hammitt, 2016. "Valuing Reductions in Fatal Illness Risks: Implications of Recent Research," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(8), pages 1039-1052, August.
    9. Kip Viscusi, W. & Aldy, Joseph E., 2007. "Labor market estimates of the senior discount for the value of statistical life," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 377-392, May.
    10. Daniel Bauer & Darius Lakdawalla & Julian Reif, 2018. "Mortality Risk, Insurance, and the Value of Life," NBER Working Papers 25055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4812 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. W. Viscusi & Elissa Gentry, 2015. "The value of a statistical life for transportation regulations: A test of the benefits transfer methodology," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 53-77, August.
    13. Andersson, Henrik, 2006. "Willingness to Pay for Road Safety and Estimates of the Risk of Death: Evidence from a Swedish Contingent Valuation Study," Working Papers 2006:5, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).
    14. James O’Brien, 2018. "Age, autos, and the value of a statistical life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 51-79, August.
    15. Robert J. Johnston & Kevin J. Boyle & Maria L. Loureiro & Ståle Navrud & John Rolfe, 2021. "Guidance to Enhance the Validity and Credibility of Environmental Benefit Transfers," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 79(3), pages 575-624, July.
    16. Henrik Andersson & James Hammitt & Gunnar Lindberg & Kristian Sundström, 2013. "Willingness to Pay and Sensitivity to Time Framing: A Theoretical Analysis and an Application on Car Safety," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(3), pages 437-456, November.
    17. Anna Alberini, 2017. "Measuring the economic value of the effects of chemicals on ecological systems and human health," OECD Environment Working Papers 116, OECD Publishing.
    18. Andrea Leiter, 2011. "Age effects in monetary valuation of reduced mortality risks: the relevance of age-specific hazard rates," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 12(4), pages 331-344, August.
    19. Henrik Andersson, 2008. "Willingness to Pay for Car Safety: Evidence from Sweden," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(4), pages 579-594, December.
    20. Alberini, Anna & Ščasný, Milan, 2013. "Exploring heterogeneity in the value of a statistical life: Cause of death v. risk perceptions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 143-155.
    21. W. Viscusi, 2010. "The heterogeneity of the value of statistical life: Introduction and overview," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    VSL; life-cycle model; benefit-cost analysis; social welfare analysis; QALY; health-wealth tradeoff;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp201103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nepgvus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Cynthia Morgan (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nepgvus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.