Effects of Disease Type and Latency on the Value of Mortality Risk

33 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2003 Last revised: 19 Sep 2009

See all articles by Jin‐Tan Liu

Jin‐Tan Liu

National Taiwan University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

James K. Hammitt

Harvard University

Date Written: October 2003

Abstract

We evaluate the effects of disease type and latency on willingness to pay (WTP) to reduce environmental risks of chronic, degenerative disease. Using contingent-valuation data collected from approximately 1,200 respondents in Taiwan, we find that WTP declines with latency between exposure to environmental contaminants and manifestation of any resulting disease, at a 1.5 percent annual rate for a 20 year latency period. WTP to reduce the risk of cancer is estimated to be about one-third larger than WTP to reduce risk of a similar chronic, degenerative disease. The value of risk reduction also depends on the affected organ, environmental pathway, or payment mechanism: estimated WTP to reduce the risk of lung disease due to industrial air pollution is twice as large as WTP to reduce the risk of liver disease due to contaminated drinking water.

Suggested Citation

Liu, Jin-Tan and Hammitt, James K., Effects of Disease Type and Latency on the Value of Mortality Risk (October 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w10012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=453806

Jin-Tan Liu (Contact Author)

National Taiwan University - Department of Economics ( email )

21 Hsu-Chow Road
Taipei, 10020
Taiwan

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

James K. Hammitt

Harvard University ( email )

718 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-432-4343 (Phone)
617-432-0190 (Fax)

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