Contingent Valuation, Transport Safety and the Value of Life
Over the past two decades, economic theory has extended its field of application to non-market goods such as environmental resources and health. Although it is impossible to assign a price to these goods on the basis of market mechanisms alone, the fact that they have no price does not mean that they have no value. One technique in which economists have shown a marked interest is the contingent valuation method (CVM), which has mainly been used to assign a monetary value to environmental goods. It was first applied to natural resources used for recreational purposes. CVM has been applied to health only recently, so that studies in this field are relatively more scarce than those dealing with the environment, although several valuation methodology surveys are available.
There has hitherto been no book which has drawn together and analyzed recent contingent valuations in the field of transport accidents. Contingent Valuation, Transport Safety and the Value of Life provides an overview of the experiments conducted in Europe (Denmark, France, the U.K., Sweden and Switzerland). While a number of contributions are critical, others show how the estimates obtained in the area of road transport can be used to assess the adverse health effects of other causes, such as public transport accidents or air pollution.