Environmental Economics and Policy Making in Developing Countries

Environmental Economics and Policy Making in Developing Countries

Current Issues

Edited by Ronaldo Seroa da Motta

The authors provide a comprehensive analysis of topics varying from the general problems of growth and conservation to specific applications such as; pollution costs, environmental taxation, deforestation and climate change. This volume also offers policymakers a comprehensive view of the challenges they face, and the legacies they leave, in order to convert environmental policy making into an actual programme of welfare improvement.

Chapter 4: The valuation of health impacts in developing countries

Anil Markandya

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics

Extract

Anil Markandya 4.1 INTRODUCTION Probably the most important beneļ¬t 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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