Valuing Mortality and Morbidity in the Context of Disaster Risks

45 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Maureen Cropper

Maureen Cropper

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; Resources for the Future

Sebnem Sahin

World Bank

Date Written: February 1, 2009


Benefit-cost analyses of disaster risk reduction (DRR) projects are an important tool for evaluating the efficiency of such projects, and an important input into decision making. These analyses, however, often fail to monetize the benefits of reduced death and injury. The authors review the literature on valuing reduced death and injury, and suggest methods for calculating order-of-magnitude estimates of these benefits. Because few empirical estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life (VSL) are available for developing countries, methods for transferring estimates from high income to middle and low income countries are reviewed. The authors suggest using the range of values implied by an income elasticity of 1.0 and an elasticity of 1.5. With regard to injury valuation they discuss arguments for and against monetizing Quality Adjusted Life Years, and provide shortcuts to valuing injuries that may be used to assess their importance in DRR benefit-cost analyses.

Keywords: Health Monitoring & Evaluation, Transport Economics Policy & Planning, Economic Theory & Research, Hazard Risk Management, Environmental Economics & Policies

Suggested Citation

Cropper, Maureen L. and Sahin, Sebnem, Valuing Mortality and Morbidity in the Context of Disaster Risks (February 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4832, Available at SSRN:

Maureen L. Cropper (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Sebnem Sahin

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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