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Precautionary behavior and willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction: Searching for the expected relationship

Mikael Svensson
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
Vol. 39, No. 1 (August 2009), pp. 65-85
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41761389
Page Count: 21
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Precautionary behavior and willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction: Searching for the expected relationship
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Abstract

This paper examines within-sample correlation between six different precautionary behaviors and stated willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction. The paper also shows estimates of the value of a statistical life based on seat belt and bicycle helmet use as well as based on the stated willingness to pay for a risk reduction in traffic mortality. Contrary to the theoretical expectations, no correlation is found between precautionary behavior and stated willingness to pay. One major explanation is that females and the elderly take more precaution, but state a lower WTP for a risk reduction. The estimates of VSL from the different approaches are $11.0 million, $5.0 million and $2.8 million from stated WTP, bicycle helmet use and seat belt use, respectively.

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