Environmental Economics

Behavioral Reactions to Ozone Alerts: What Do They Tell Us About Willingness-to-Pay for Children's Health?

  • Abstract
    Description: To investigate the averting behavioral responses to high ozone concentrations by parents of young children, comparing children who have asthma and those who do not. Information from these parents about daily activities under high and low ozone conditions will be used to estimate averted health endpoints using an exposure-response model. The risk assessment will help evaluate whether the defensive activities taken by parents are effective in actually reducing the asthma symptoms experienced by children. The activity/ozone data will also be used to estimate lost activity time spent outdoors for the children using a random utility model. We will then derive monetary values for the lost outdoor playtime using a stated preference (SP) conjoint survey. Approach: The research plan takes a three-step approach. The foundation of the study will be a survey that collects data on the daily activities and schedules of a panel of stay-at-home parents, some with asthmatic children and some with nonasthmatic children under the age of nine. Knowledge Networks will recruit the households from their existing panel of households and administer the survey over Web-TV. The interviews will take place on selected days over the summer, covering a range of ozone conditions across several cities with bad ozone pollution. Using a risk assessment and exposure model, we will estimate the health endpoints associated with ozone exposure that are avoided in children because of the averting behavior on the part of parents. The activity data will also be estimated using a random utility model (RUM). Through the RUM, we will estimate the hours of outdoor playtime lost due to high ozone levels and the other factors that influence the decisions by parents about daily activities for a sensitive population. Finally, we will develop an SP conjoint survey to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) of parents for outdoor playtime for their children. The parent's WTP for outdoor playtime will provide an indirect measure of their WTP to protect their children's health. Expected Results: The project will provide detailed behavioral data on the averting activities of the parents of two sensitive subpopulations?asthmatic young children and nonasthmatic young children. The data will allow us to calculate measures of the benefits of reducing ozone pollution based on estimated reductions in poor health endpoints and complementary RUM and SP surveys. The data and analysis will provide the interested researchers and organizations with information on both the likely behavioral changes in response to changes in ozone levels, the effectiveness of these responses in reducing asthma symptoms, and an estimate of the value of these changes. The result will be an improved understanding of health risk and valuation and the effectiveness of ozone alerts in altering behavior in a sensitive population. Supplemental Keywords: internet survey, altruism, decision-making, air pollution, GIS, urban airshed model, information programs
  • Metadata
    Principal Investigators:
    Mansfield, Carol
    Houtven, George Van
    Johnson, F. Reed
    Crawford-Brown, Douglas
    Pekar, Zachary
    Technical Liaison:
    Research Organization:
    Research Triangle Institute
    North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of
    Funding Agency/Program:
    Grant Year:
    Project Period:
    January 1, 2002 - December 1, 2004
    Cost to Funding Agency:
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