Did people "buy" what was "sold"? A qualitative evaluation a Contingent Valuation survey information set for gains in life expectancy
A number of stated preferences studies have quantified the value of gains in life expectancy from pollution control and use a Value of a Life Year (VOLY) approach to calculate the value placed on avoiding premature mortality following exposure to such pollution. However, life expectancy gains are a complex concept and no attempt has been made, to date, to investigate peoples’ understanding of what it is they are being asked to value. This paper uses a structured debriefing exercise to qualitatively investigate an approach which explicitly emphasises how this gain is delivered. We find that, for the majority of respondents, the approach is effective in communicating the ongoing nature of the gain and reduces the use of the (incorrect) heuristic that it is an ‘add-on’ at the end of life, in poor health. Further refinements are required, however, to communicate the cumulative nature of these risk reductions and the lack of impact on quality of life.
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