The estimates used by U.S. Federal agencies and others to value reductions in fatality risks generally reflect adults’ willingness to trade income for changes in their own risks. Several studies have now been completed that address the value of risk reductions to children. We review these studies for quality and applicability based on selection and evaluation criteria derived from recent discussions of best practices. To limit the effects of between-study variability, we searched for studies that estimate values for both adults and children using a consistent approach. We find seven studies that meet our selection criteria. The studies suggest that the value for children exceeds the value for adults by a factor of 1.2 to 3.0, with a midpoint of 2.1. Studies that estimate the value of reductions in nonfatal risks lead to similar results. Although some studies suggest that the divergence between child and adult values may decrease as the child ages, more work is needed to determine the extent to which these multipliers vary across age groups.
benefit-cost analysis; value per statistical life; willingness to pay; health risk valuation; regulation;
TSE Working Paper, n. 19-1018, June 2019