Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 161-186

First online:

Age, Health and the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: A Contingent Valuation Survey of Ontario Residents

  • Alan KrupnickAffiliated withResources for the Future
  • , Anna AlberiniAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland
  • , Maureen CropperAffiliated withUniversity of Maryland and World Bank
  • , Nathalie SimonAffiliated withUS Environmental Protection Agency
  • , Bernie O'BrienAffiliated withMcMaster University
  • , Ron GoereeAffiliated withMcMaster University
  • , Martin HeintzelmanAffiliated withResources for the Future

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We present the results of a contingent valuation survey eliciting willingness to pay (WTP) for mortality risk reductions. The survey was self-administered using a computer by 930 persons in Hamilton Ontario aged 40 to 75. Visual and audio aides were used to enhance risk comprehension. Mean WTP figures for a contemporaneous risk reduction imply a value of a statistical life of approximately C$l.2 to C$3.8 million (1999 C$). Mean WTP is constant with age up to 70 years, and is about 30 percent lower for persons aged 70 and older. WTP is unaffected by physical health status, but is affected by mental health.

value of a statistical life mortality risks benefit-cost analysis