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Dying in an Avalanche: Current risks and Valuation

  • Andrea M. Leiter

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Gerald J. Pruckner

    (University of Innsbruck)

This paper examines the influence of implicit information associated with the occurrence of avalanches on willingness to pay (WTP) values for a risk prevention of dying in an avalanche. We present results of a contingent valuation (CV) study carried out in Austria in two different periods (fall 2004 and winter 2005). The comparison of WTP results between the two waves allows the identification whether the immediate occurrence of avalanches and their attendant deathly accidents affect individual risk evaluations. Surprisingly, individuals state a lower WTP in winter although avalanche accidents are predominant at that time. Personal responsibility of risk exposure and its associated voluntariness are main reasons for the decrease in WTP over time. Preferences for alternative protective measures (e.g. against car accidents or food poisoning) also lead to a decrease of WTP while a higher risk perception and personal experience with avalanches show a positive influence. We conclude that the change in WTP across seasons is not arbitrary but can be explained by specific risk characteristics. It follows that WTP is more robust as previously assumed and therefore represents a proper measure for the elicitation of individual risk reduction preferences.D81, J17, Q51

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0511009.

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Date of creation: 27 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0511009
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  1. Anna Alberini, 2005. "Robustness of VSL Values from Contingent Valuation Surveys," NCEE Working Paper Series 200501, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jan 2005.
  2. Trudy Ann Cameron & Michelle D. James, 1986. "Efficient Estimation Methods for "Closed-Ended" Contingent Valuation Surveys," UCLA Economics Working Papers 404, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Richard W. Blundell & James L. Powell, 2004. "Endogeneity in Semiparametric Binary Response Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 655-679.
  4. Anna Alberini & Alistair Hunt & Anil Markandya, 2004. "Willingness to Pay to Reduce Mortality Risks: Evidence from a Three-Country Contingent Valuation Study," Working Papers 2004.111, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  5. Cookson, Richard, 2000. "Incorporating psycho-social considerations into health valuation: an experimental study," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 369-401, May.
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  7. Jin-Tan Liu & James K. Hammitt & Jung-Der Wang & Meng-Wen Tsou, 2005. "Valuation of the risk of SARS in Taiwan," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 83-91.
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  11. Timothy C. Haab & Kenneth E. McConnell, . "Referendum Models and Negative Willingness to Pay: Alternative Solutions," Working Papers 9610, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
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  13. Persson, Ulf, et al, 2001. " The Value of a Statistical Life in Transport: Findings from a New Contingent Valuation Study in Sweden," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 121-34, September.
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  15. 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.
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