, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 305-329

Valuing Health Impacts from Air Pollution in Europe

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Abstract

Health impacts make up asignificant portion of the damage costs fromair pollution. In lack of European valuationstudies on morbidity impacts, cost-benefitanalyses, transport and energy externalitystudies, and green accounting exercises inEurope have all used values from more than tenyear old US valuation studies. Results from anew Contingent Valuation study, using animproved version of the survey design of themost transferred US morbidity study, show thatrespiratory symptom days and asthma attacks arevalued lower in Norway than in the US.Correction were made for differences inpurchase power between the two countries, butthe US values are still expressed in 1986dollar values; indicating that the differencebetween the two estimates could be even higher.Thus, the practise of transferring US estimatesand only adjusting the values with the consumerprice index could lead to highly biased valuesin the Norwegian case. The difference betweenthe US and Norwegian values can be explained byimproved CV survey and sample design, differentpreferences in Norway compared to the US, anddifferent public health care systems. We do notknow if we can generalise the results from thisNorwegian study to the rest of Europe, but thestudy clearly illustrates the uncertainty intransferring results from one country toanother.