VALUING REDUCED RISKS TO CHILDREN: THE CASE OF BICYCLE SAFETY HELMETS
Robin R. Jenkins
Lanelle Bembenek Wiggins
The protection of children's health has recently become a mandated priority for federal policy makers. To assess many of the regulations that affect children's health, policy makers need estimates of the monetary value of reducing mortality risks to children. Although the economics literature has provided many estimates of the value of statistical life (VSL) for adult populations, it has provided none for school age children. This article studies the market for bicycle safety helmets and estimates for the first time a separate but comparable VSL for children and adults. We derive three estimates of VSL for each of three age categories (5 to 9, 10 to 14, and 20 to 59) that range from $1.1 to $4.0 million. In all cases, estimates for adults are highest, followed by estimates for the youngest children. Copyright 2001 Western Economic Association International.
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