An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Working Paper: Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: Does Latency Matter?

Paper Number: 2004-01

Document Date: 02/2004

Author(s): Anna Alberini, Maureen Cropper, Alan Krupnick, and Nathalie B. Simon

Subject Area(s): Health; Discounting; Valuation

Keywords: value of a statistical life; mortality risks; benefit-cost analysis

Abstract: Using results from two contingent valuation surveys conducted in Canada and the U.S., we explore the effect of a latency period on willingness to pay (WTP) for reduced mortality risk using both structural and reduced form approaches. We find that delaying the time at which the risk reduction occurs by 10 to 30 years reduces WTP by more than half for respondents in both samples aged 40 to 60 years. Additionally, we estimate implicit discount rates equal to 8% for Canada and 4.5% for the U.S. – both well within the range established previously in the literature.

Published: Alberini, Anna, Maureen Cropper, Alan Krupnick and Nathalie B. Simon. 2006. "Willingness to Pay for Mortality Risk Reductions: Does Latency Matter?" Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 32(3): 231-245.

This paper is part of the Environmental Economics Working Paper Series.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.