Does the Value of a Statistical Life Vary with Age and Health Status? Evidence from the U.S. and Canada
This paper provides an empirical assessment of the effects of age and baseline health on willingness to pay(WTP) for mortalityrisk reductions byreporting the results of two contingent valuation surveys: one administered in Hamilton, Ontario and the other to a national sample of US residents. Respondents for both surveys were limited to persons aged 40 years and older to examine the impact of age on WTP. Using the WTP responses and those regarding respondent’s own and familyhealth histories, we find weak support for the notion that WTP declines with age, and then, onlyfor the oldest respondents (aged 70 or above). Furthermore, we find no support for the idea that people with chronic heart or lung conditions, or cancer, are willing to pay less to reduce their risk of dying than people without these illnesses. If anything, people with these illnesses are willing to paymore.