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How Should the World Bank Estimate Air Pollution Damages?

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  • Cropper, Maureen

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Khanna, Shefali

Abstract

We evaluate the approach currently used by the World Bank to measure exposure to outdoor air pollution and associated economic costs, as reported in the World Development Indicators database. We recommend that current exposure estimates, based on an econometric model, be replaced by estimates used in computing the Global Burden of Disease (GBD). The GBD combines satellite data with chemical transport models to provide global estimates of fine particle exposure. We recommend that the World Bank also use estimates of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost due to outdoor air pollution produced by the GBD. DALYs should continue to be monetized using the value of a statistical life year, which is currently transferred from a US value of a statistical life (VSL) using an income elasticity of one. Going forward, it would be desirable to allow the income elasticity of the VSL to vary with income and to revisit the choice of baseline VSL.

Suggested Citation

  • Cropper, Maureen & Khanna, Shefali, 2014. "How Should the World Bank Estimate Air Pollution Damages?," Discussion Papers dp-14-30, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-14-30
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-14-30.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. L. Cropper, Maureen & Sahin, Sebnem, 2009. "Valuing mortality and morbidity in the context of disaster risks," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4832, The World Bank.
    4. Hammitt James K. & Robinson Lisa A, 2011. "The Income Elasticity of the Value per Statistical Life: Transferring Estimates between High and Low Income Populations," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-29, January.
    5. Krupnick, Alan J & Cropper, Maureen L, 1992. "The Effect of Information on Health Risk Valuations," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 29-48, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Alan Krupnick, 2007. "Mortality-risk Valuation and Age: Stated Preference Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 261-282, Summer.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    air pollution exposure; valuing DALYs; Global Burden of Disease;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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