Chemical safety and biosafety


Valuing a reduction in the risk of very low birth weight

A large scale multi-country stated preference approach

There is ample evidence that exposure to various chemicals can increase the probability of children to be born with low or very low birth weight. Infants born with very low birth weight have a higher risk of suffering from neurosensory problems, issues related to behavioural and social competencies, and learning disabilities than infants born with normal birth weight. Authorities face challenges in regulating chemical substances through actions such as bans and prohibitions, because of the difficulty in explicitly considering the economic benefits and costs of such regulations. Moreover, existing Values of a Statistical Case (VSC) of very low birth weight are rare and cannot be directly applied to the cost benefit analysis of chemical management options for a wide range of countries. This paper is part of the series of large scale willingness to pay (WTP) studies resulting from the Surveys to elicit Willingness to pay to Avoid Chemicals related negative Health Effects (SWACHE) project that intends to improve the basis for doing cost benefit analyses of chemicals management options and environmental policies in general. The present paper details a stated preference survey estimating WTP to reduce the risk of very low birth weight, filling an important gap in the valuation literature and addressing a need for applied benefits analysis for chemicals regulation. The SWACHE very low birth weight survey was fielded in 9 countries: Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Türkiye, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Published on June 05, 2023

In series:OECD Environment Working Papersview more titles