This week I participated in a workshop, held at the George Washington University’s Marvin Center, about “Valuing Changes in Health and Longevity in Benefit-Cost Analysis.” This event was organized by Lisa Robinson from Harvard University within the 2018 Society for Benefit-Cost Annual Conference in Washington DC 14-16 March.
This workshop focused on concepts and measurements to quantify benefits of environmental, health, and safety regulations. Several methods (e.g. stated preferences) to measure their value were discussed which are focusing to estimate individuals' willingness to pay (WTP). Other topics covered monetized estimates of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). The speakers were James K. Hammitt from Harvard University, Sandra Hoffmann of U.S. Department of Agriculture and David D. Kim of Tufts University.
Here it is a quote by James K.Hammitt in Risk Perspective: “There is long-standing debate whether to count “lives saved” or “life-years saved” when evaluating policies to reduce mortality risk. For benefit-cost analysis, the monetary value of risk reductions can be calculated either by multiplying expected lives saved by the “value per statistical life” (VSL) or by multiplying expected life-years saved by the “value per statistical life-year” (VSLY). However, because theory and empirical evidence suggest that neither VSL nor VSLY is constant over an individual’s life, accurate valuation requires using values that depend on characteristics of the affected individuals.”
The Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis (SBCA) is an international group of practitioners, academics and others who are working to improve the theory and application of the tools of benefit-cost analysis. Founded in 2007, the Society is an international organization dedicated to the advancement, exchange of ideas, and research related to benefit-cost analysis (BCA), cost-effectiveness analysis, risk-benefit analysis, applied welfare economic analysis, and damage assessment.