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Working Paper: Self Protection and Averting Behavior, Values of Statistical Lives, and Benefit Cost Analysis of Environmental Policy

Paper Number: 2003-02

Document Date: 03/2003

Author(s): Glenn C. Blomquist

Subject Area(s): Health; Valuation

Keywords: averting behavior; value of statistical life

Abstract: Individuals can be observed in a variety of activities that affect their health and safety. Protective behavior is evident in motorist choice of automobile type, safety equipment such as seat belts, and speed of travel. Choices concerning safety helmets, cigarette smoking and installation of fire alarms change risks of death that individuals experience. Choice of residence when housing markets encompass Superfund sites influences the amount of risk that individuals face. Visits to health clinics for preventive care can reduce risks to health. The purpose of this paper is twofold. The first purpose is to review studies which estimate values of mortality risks based on the tradeoffs which individual consumers make. The second purpose is to assess how useful the estimates are for BCA of environmental policy and suggest directions for future research.

Published: Bloomquist, Glenn C. 2004. "Self Protection and Averting Behavior, Values of Statistical Lives, and Benefit Cost Analysis of Environmental Policy," Review of Economics of the Household, 2(1): 89-110.

This paper is part of the Environmental Economics Working Paper Series.

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