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Urban Environmental Health and Sensitive Populations: How Much Are the Italians Willing to Pay to Reduce Their Risks?

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  • Anna Alberini
  • Aline Chiabai

Abstract

We use contingent valuation to elicit WTP for a reduction in the risk of dying for cardiovascular and respiratory causes, the most important causes of premature mortality associated with heat wave and air pollution, among the Italian public. The purpose of this study is three-fold. First, we obtain WTP and VSL figures that can be applied when estimating the benefits of heat advisories, other policies that reduce the mortality effects of extreme heat, and environmental policies that reduce the risk of dying for cardiovascular and respiratory causes. Second, our experimental study design allows us to examine the sensitivity of WTP to the size of the risk reduction. Third, we examine whether the WTP of populations that are especially sensitive to extreme heat and air pollution - such as the elderly, those in compromised health, and those living alone and/or physically impaired - is different from that of other individuals. We find that WTP, and hence the VSL, depends on the risk reduction, respondent age (via the baseline risk), and respondent health status. WTP increases with the size of the risk reduction, but is not strictly proportional to it. All else the same, older individuals are willing to pay less for a given risk reduction than younger individuals of comparable characteristics. Poor health, however, tends to raise WTP, so that the appropriate VSL of elderly individuals in poor health may be quite large. Our results support the notion that the VSL is “individuated.â€

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Alberini & Aline Chiabai, 2006. "Urban Environmental Health and Sensitive Populations: How Much Are the Italians Willing to Pay to Reduce Their Risks?," ERSA conference papers ersa06p293, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p293
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    2. Anna Alberini & Stefania Tonin & Margherita Turvani & Aline Chiabai, 2007. "Paying for permanence: Public preferences for contaminated site cleanup," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 155-178, April.
    3. Edoh Y. Amiran & Joni S. James Charles, 2021. "Reconciling revealed and stated measures for willingness to pay in recreation by building a probability model," Papers 2107.14343, arXiv.org.
    4. 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.
    5. Waranan Tantiwat & Christopher Gan & Wei Yang, 2021. "The Estimation of the Willingness to Pay for Air-Quality Improvement in Thailand," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(21), pages 1-23, November.
    6. Boeri, Marco & Longo, Alberto & Grisolía, José M. & Hutchinson, W. George & Kee, Frank, 2013. "The role of regret minimisation in lifestyle choices affecting the risk of coronary heart disease," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 253-260.
    7. Torres, Cati & Faccioli, Michela & Riera Font, Antoni, 2017. "Waiting or acting now? The effect on willingness-to-pay of delivering inherent uncertainty information in choice experiments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 231-240.
    8. Dennis Guignet & Anna Alberini, 2015. "Can Property Values Capture Changes in Environmental Health Risks? Evidence from a Stated Preference Study in Italy and the United Kingdom," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 35(3), pages 501-517, March.
    9. Grisolía, José M. & Longo, Alberto & Boeri, Marco & Hutchinson, George & Kee, Frank, 2013. "Trading off dietary choices, physical exercise and cardiovascular disease risks," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 130-138.
    10. Anna Alberini & Aline Chiabai, 2007. "Discount Rates in Risk Versus Money and Money Versus Money Tradeoffs," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(2), pages 483-498, April.
    11. Dennis Guignet & Anna Alberini, 2013. "Can Property Values Capture Changes in Environmental Health Risks? Evidence from a Stated Preference Study in Italy and the UK," Working Papers 2013.67, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    12. Alberini, Anna & Chiabai, Aline, 2006. "Discount Rates in Risk v. Money and Money v. Money Tradeoffs," Sustainability Indicators and Environmental Valuation Working Papers 12209, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    13. Giovanis, Eleftherios & Ozdamar, Oznur, 2018. "Health status, mental health and air quality: evidence from pensioners in Europe," MPRA Paper 86483, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Khong, Tien Dung & Young, Michael D. & Loch, Adam & Thennakoon, Jayanthi, 2018. "Mekong River Delta farm-household willingness to pay for salinity intrusion risk reduction," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 80-89.
    15. Grisolía, José M. & Longo, Alberto & Hutchinson, George & Kee, Frank, 2015. "Applying Health Locus of Control and Latent Class Modelling to food and physical activity choices affecting CVD risk," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 1-10.
    16. Anna Alberini & Stefania Tonin & Margherita Turvani, 2009. "The Value of Reducing Cancer Risks at Contaminated Sites: Are More Heavily Exposed People Willing to Pay More?," Working Papers 2009.60, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    17. Gaviria, Carlos Felipe & Martínez, Daniel, 2013. "Air pollution and the willingness to pay of exposed individuals in downtown Medellín, Colombia," Revista Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, CIE, issue 80, pages 153-182, July.
    18. Courard-Hauri David & Lauer Stephen A., 2012. "Taking "All Men Are Created Equal" Seriously: Toward a Metric for the Intergroup Comparison of Utility Functions Through Life Values," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 1-30, August.
    19. Henrik Lindhjem & Ståle Navrud & Nils Axel Braathen & Vincent Biausque, 2011. "Valuing Mortality Risk Reductions from Environmental, Transport, and Health Policies: A Global Meta‐Analysis of Stated Preference Studies," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 31(9), pages 1381-1407, September.
    20. Chiara PANCOTTI & Giuseppe BATTISTONI & Mario GENCO & Maria Vittoria LIVRAGA & Paola MELLA & Sandro ROSSI & Silvia VIGNETTI, 2015. "The socio-economic impact of the National Hadrontherapy Centre for Cancer Treatment (CNAO): applying a CBA analytical framework," Departmental Working Papers 2015-05, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    21. Uttam Paudel & Shiva Raj Adhikari & Krishna Prasad Pant, 2023. "Willingness to Pay for Environmental Quality Improvement Programs and Its Determinants: Empirical Analysis in Western Nepal," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(3), pages 1-20, January.
    22. Stefania Tonin & Anna Alberini & Margherita Turvani, 2012. "The Value of Reducing Cancer Risks at Contaminated Sites: Are More Knowledgeable People Willing to Pay More?," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 32(7), pages 1157-1182, July.
    23. Lee, Sang Hun & Kang, Hyun Gook, 2016. "Integrated framework for the external cost assessment of nuclear power plant accident considering risk aversion: The Korean case," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 111-123.

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    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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