Paying for permanence: Public preferences for contaminated site cleanup
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We use conjoint choice questions to investigate the preferences of people in four cities in Italy for income and future/permanent mortality risk reductions delivered by contaminated site remediation policies. The VSL is €5.6 million for an immediate risk reduction. If the risk reduction takes place 20 years from now, the implied VSL is €1.26 million. Respondents’ implicit discount rate is 7%. The VSL depends on respondent characteristics, familiarity with contaminated sites, concern about the health effects of exposure to toxicants, having a family member with cancer, perceived usefulness of public programs and beliefs about the goals of government remediation programs.
KeywordsValue of a statistical life Latent risk reductions Individual discount rates Conjoint choice questions Contaminated sites Remediation
JEL ClassificationJ17 I18 K32 Q51 Q53
This research was supported by funding from CO.RI.LA and MIUR PRIN Grant 2005134530_002. We wish to thank seminar participants at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, FEEM Venice, the 3rd World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists, Douglas Noonan and two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this paper.
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