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Willingness to pay for suicidal prevention
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. (WHAWE)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9571-2315
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1172-1076
Swedish Institute for Health Economics, Lund, Sweden.
Örebro University, University Library.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6108-8227
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Objective: In 1997 the Swedish Parliament decided on a “vision zero” long-term target for reduction of fatalities and severe injuries caused by traffic accidents. In 2008 a similar zero vision was adopted for suicides. While the former decision has been very successful, resulted in a slimming of the number of traffic fatalities by close to a half percentages, the number of suicides has been more or less constant since the latter decision was made. A possible explanation could be that the general public, and therefore also the many people that need to be involved to accomplish a broad and ambitious target of this kind, give less priority to the reduction of death that is in some sense caused by voluntary action than death brought about by an accident. The objective of this study is to compare the valuation of statistical life (VSL) of a representative sample of Swedish adult residents in traffic accident and suicide prevention contexts.

Method: We make within-sample comparisons of responses to a pair of consecutive contingent-valuation WTP questions to a web panel of 800 individuals in the age of 18-80. The respondent are asked to state their WTP for interventions that are expected to save 100 (200) lives by prevention of traffic accidents or suicides, respectively. Respondents are also asked whether they think it is more important to reduce the number of deaths due to traffic accidents or due to suicides.

Results: 68 percent state that they think it is equally important to save lives by prevention of suicides as by traffic accidents. For 18 percent suicide prevention is more important and for 13 percent reduction of traffic safety is more important. The same picture emerges from the WTP responses. 35 percent state equal WTP values and the differences between the average VSL are not statistically significant (preliminary results).

Discussion: This finding indicates that the same VSL should be used in both areas, implying that funds for prevention of fatalities should be directed to the area with the lowest cost per saved life. To our knowledge the only previous studies on WTP for suicide prevention are Sueki (2015, 2016) that reported a lower average WTP to reduce mortality risk from suicide than from reducing mortality from other causes. However, these studies were framed within a private good context, which is problematic in the specific case of suicide since the respondent has to think of herself as a current “planner” restricting herself future “doer”. In our study, we therefore frame both kind of prevention measures as public goods, which avoids this cognitive task and also can be related to quite commonly made economic trade-offs in budget planning by state and local governments, traffic administrations, hospital boards, etc.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-70034DiVA, id: diva2:1261234
Conference
12th European Conference on Health Economics, EuHEA Conference 2018, Maastricht, The Netherlands, July 11-14, 2018
Projects
Analys av kausala långsiktiga samhällsekonomiska effekter av prevention och tidiga insatser för barn och ung
Funder
Swedish Research Council, VR 2014-10128Available from: 2018-11-06 Created: 2018-11-06 Last updated: 2018-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Vimefall, ElinHultkrantz, LarsPersson, Mattias

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • ieee
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  • vancouver
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