Use of Contingent Valuation to Elicit Willingness-to-Pay for the Benefits of Developmental Health Risk Reductions

Use of Contingent Valuation to Elicit Willingness-to-Pay for the Benefits of Developmental Health Risk Reductions
Posted on February 1, 2010
Authors: von Stackelberg Katherine, Hammitt James
Environmental & Resource Economics 2009 43(1): 45-61  PubmedID: 265940000000   ISSN/ISBN: 0924-6460   DOI: 10.1007/s10640-009-9267-7
We report the results of several contingent valuation (CV) surveys to elicit willingness-to-pay values from the general public for risk reductions associated with decreases in exposure to a chemical, PCBs, in the environment. We also develop Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) from the survey using both standard gamble and time-tradeoff elicitation methods to explore the relationship between QALYs and willingness-to-pay (WTP), and to develop QALY weights for subtle developmental effects. The results of the CV surveys are designed for incorporation into a case study of an integrated risk model to monetize the benefits of predicted risk reductions. Respondents showed a nearly proportional, positive relationship between decreasing the risk of a 6-point reduction in IQ (a standard measure of "intelligence") and WTP, but showed a negative relationship between risk reduction and WTP for reading comprehension as an outcome. The range of mortality risks that respondents would accept on behalf of their (hypothetical) 10-year-old child is 2 in 10,000 to 9 in 1,000 per IQ point, and WTP per IQ point is $466 ($380, $520). QALY weights elicited via time tradeoff (reduction in life expectancy) were significantly different from QALY weights elicited via a standard gamble (p = 0.001). Respondents who answered questions about ecological endpoints first were willing to pay a small additional amount when asked about human health effects, but those respondents who answered questions about human health endpoints first were not willing to pay any additional amount when subsequently asked about ecological effects.