Edited by Ronaldo Seroa da Motta
Chapter 4: The valuation of health impacts in developing countries
Anil Markandya 4.1 INTRODUCTION Probably the most important beneﬁt of development is improvement in the quality of life. This improvement is measured to a large extent through increased life expectancy, reduced morbidity and reduced incidences of illness. While it is true that general development, which results in better nutrition and improvements in housing, water supply and sanitation, will improve the quality of life, it is not true that all investments in these areas are equally desirable. Nor are these the only investments that impact on the quality of life. Others include measures to reduce air pollution, investments in public and private health provision and education for women. In all these areas of policy, valuing the health impacts in money terms can provide an important aid to the decision-maker. How much should we spend on controlling emissions from vehicles, and how much can we justify in investments in improving the drinking water supply? If there is a budget constraint and we have to choose between these options, which is the more valuable? This chapter is devoted to a discussion of the values to be attached to health impacts in developing countries. It is structured as follows. Section 4.2 provides the conceptual basis for the valuation. Section 4.3 discusses how we can overcome a shortage of data and information about these values. In many developing countries, there is a shortage of data and it is not practicable to collect what is required in the time available. The chapter discusses how data...
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