nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2007‒07‒13
five papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. Stated and Implicit Value of a Statistical Life from Stated WTP, Seat Belt Use and Bicycle Helmet Use By Svensson, Mikael
  2. UNSAFE SEX, AIDS, and DEVELOPMENT By Bhattacharya, Joydeep; Bunzel, Helle; Qiao, Xue
  3. Third degree waiting time discrimination: optimal allocation of a public sector health care treatment under rationing by waiting By Hugh Gravelle; Luigi Siciliani
  4. Co-operation and conflict in the management of a health scare: the work of the Tobacco Industry Research Committee By Sue Bowden; Martin Forster; Martin Walsh
  5. The Economy of Opium and Heroin Production in Afghanistan and Its Impact on HIV Epidemiology in Central Asia By Nader Ghotbi; Tsuneo Tsukatani

  1. By: Svensson, Mikael (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)
    Abstract: This paper examines (i) determinants of six different safety behaviors, (ii) the within-sample correlation between stated willingness to pay (WTP) for a risk reduction and safety behavior, and (iii) estimates the value of a statistical life (VSL) from seat belt and bicycle helmet use as well as from stated WTP in Sweden. Results indicate that females and the elderly take more precaution in reality, but state a significantly lower WTP for the risk reduction in the survey. Still, there is significant correlation between front and rear seat belt use and the stated WTP, but not for the other four safety behaviors. The estimates of VSL from the different approaches are 77, 45 and 38.5 million SEK from stated WTP, seat belt use and bicycle helmet use respectively ($11.0. $6.4 and $5.5 million).
    Keywords: Value of a Statistical Life; Revealed Preference; Stated Preference; Risk Behavior
    JEL: D80 K13
    Date: 2007–06–26
  2. By: Bhattacharya, Joydeep; Bunzel, Helle; Qiao, Xue
    Abstract: Much of Africa has been ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. There, heterosexual contact is the primary mode of transmission for the HIV virus. Even when access to condoms is good and their price low, a large fraction of young Africans continue to engage in unprotected sex. In this paper, we propose a simple two period rational model of sexual behavior that has the potential to explain why a large proportion of sexual activity in poor countries maybe unprotected. In the model economy, even when agents are perfectly cognizant of the risk involved in unsafe sexual activity, and fully internalize the effects of their own sexual behavior on their chance of catching the virus, they may rationally choose to engage in such risky behavior. Our results indicate that safe sexual practice is essentially a "normal good" and that development may be key to reducing HIV infectivity.
    Keywords: AIDS, rational choice, sexual behavior, safe sex
    JEL: E0 I1 O1
    Date: 2007–07–09
  3. By: Hugh Gravelle; Luigi Siciliani
    Abstract: In many public health care systems treatment is rationed by waiting time. We examine the optimal allocation of a .xed supply of a treatment between di¤erent groups of patients. Even in the absence of any distributional aims welfare is increased by third degree waiting time discrimination. Because waiting time imposes dead weight losses on patients, lower waiting times should be o¤ered to groups with higher marginal waiting time costs and with less elastic demand for the treatment.
    Keywords: Waiting times, prioritisation, rationing
    JEL: H21 H42 I11 I18
    Date: 2007–07
  4. By: Sue Bowden; Martin Forster; Martin Walsh
    Abstract: This paper examines the response of the American tobacco companies to the health scare surrounding tobacco harm between 1953 and 1964, through an analysis of the operations of the Tobacco Industry Research Committee (TIRC). We consider the reasons for the TIRC's establishment and subsequent conduct in the context of a series of external pressures which built up on the tobacco industry prior to, and during, the period in question. These include the increase in deaths from cancer which had occurred during the first half of the twentieth century, accumulating epidemiological evidence suggesting that tobacco use was harmful to health, progressively more grave statements that were being made by public health bodies and scientists to the same effect, falling sales of cigarettes and faltering stockholder confidence. We consider the TIRC's contribution to restoring confidence in tobacco products, what motivated scientific advisors to sit on, and resign from, its Scientific Advisory Board and the legitimacy of the argument that the controversy surrounding tobacco harm continued until the mid-1960s
    Date: 2007–07
  5. By: Nader Ghotbi (College of Asia Pacific Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University); Tsuneo Tsukatani (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University)
    Abstract: The dramatic increase of poppy cultivation and opium production in Afghanistan has led to a serious drug addiction problem in te world. The rising heroin use, because of needle sharing, may lead to a much higher incidence of HIV infection and AIDS in Afghanistan in the future. We organized two expeditions into Afghanistan itself, one through the capital, Kabul and the other through Tajik border on Amu]Darya River and along the regions bordering the Central Asian countries. These expeditions included observations on sites and taking photographs and videos, sampling of soil, vegetation and water at random locations for further analysis, interviews with local authorities, and so on. We also used the data provided by other colleagues and organizations. We compared their information with our findings and sometimes used them to enrich and/or correct our own estimates. The production and trade of illicit narcotics is one of the most significant challenges to progress in Afghanistan. As an economic challenge, it diverts agricultural land and labor from more beneficial uses and undercuts the prospects for developing more sustainable lvelihoods. However, a solution for problems associated with poppy cultivation and opium production in Afghanistan requires the inclusion of many srategies. Providing the local farmers with appropriate economic substitutes for poppy is one of such strategies. Other strategies include assistance with agricultural needs such as irrigation systems and seeds, provision of training to farmers for cultivation of other crops, revival of the agricultural infrastructure including irrigation systems, assisting with economic needs of small farmer.
    Keywords: Poppy, heroin, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, irrigation agriculture, HIV/AIDS, Amudarya, international cooperation
    Date: 2007–07

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