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Estimates of Willingness to Pay for Pollution-Induced Changes in Morbidity: A Critique for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Pollution Regulation

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The purpose of this report is to review estimates of willingness to pay (WTP) for the reduction or prevention of pollution-induced morbidity to provide information that will improve decisions about regulatory decision making, and to facilitate the estimation of dollar estimates of benefits. The study reviews and evaluates the results found in four types of studies as they relate to willingness to pay and willingness to accept estimates. These studies are: 1) Health production function studies, 2) Cost of illness studies, 3) Contingent valuation approaches, and 4) Health status index research. The study concludes that there are very few satisfactory estimates of WTP in morbidity and discusses important general points regarding the interpretation and use of the estimates. The report presents the results of the reviews of each of the four types of studies for willingness to pay estimation, and makes recommendations for future research.


Chestnut, Lauraine G., and Violette, Daniel M.

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Research paper/report


Archived electronic files

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Special topics


Valuation/benefits measurement



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