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Special Issue "Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Economics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Laura Bojke

Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cost-effectiveness; decision modelling; public health; uncertainty
Guest Editor
Dr. Gerry Richardson

Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York YO105DD, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cost-effectiveness analysis, local decision making, research design, cross sectoral outcomes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the use of economic evaluation methodologies to assess the costs and value of environmental policies and interventions. Submissions from a range of social science and health-related disciplines are encouraged (e.g., economics, public health, epidemiology, environmental science, and so on).

The scope of this Special Issue includes, but is not limited to, the exploration of:
  • Appropriate methods to assess the value for money of environmental policies and interventions;
  • Approaches to determine health and non-health benefits of public health interventions;
  • Population level environmental interventions;
  • Experimental study design in public health;
  • Quantifying the health effects of air pollution;
  • Local/regional policies to meet national/international targets for air pollution
  • Health and non-health? effects of climate change;
  • Applied modelling studies of the cost-effectiveness of environmental policies and interventions

Dr. Laura Bojke
Dr. Gerry Richardson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cost-effectiveness
  • decision modelling
  • economic evaluation
  • benefit valuation

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Visitors’ Perceived Place Value and the Willingness to Pay in an Urban Lake Park
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2518; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112518
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (907 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As highly developed nature, an urban lake park will be a place required to integrate various functions such as health promotion, recreation, and cultural exchange by focusing on ecological aspects. We applied latent profile analysis (LPA) to identify latent classes based on visitors’ [...] Read more.
As highly developed nature, an urban lake park will be a place required to integrate various functions such as health promotion, recreation, and cultural exchange by focusing on ecological aspects. We applied latent profile analysis (LPA) to identify latent classes based on visitors’ perceived place value, and to estimate the willingness to pay (WTP) by these classifications. Park visitors were classified according to place value into three groups: Local Seekers (LS), Ecology Seekers (ES), and Recreation Seekers (RS). To compare the WTP of the three groups and examine differences in attributes between the groups, we used a choice experiment (CE). The results from the CE revealed that the WTP for attributes was ranked in the order of basic infrastructure, advanced services, and ecological activities. These differences in the WTP of visitors in an urban lake park may be useful for park management, such as providing strategies for zoning and ecotourism, which is specialized by visitor type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Economic Evaluation of Environmental Interventions: Reflections on Methodological Challenges and Developments
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2459; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112459
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 1 November 2018 / Published: 5 November 2018
PDF Full-text (523 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Evaluation of the costs and outcomes associated with environmental policies and interventions is often required to inform public policy and allocate scarce resources. Methods to conduct assessments of cost-effectiveness have been developed in the context of pharmaceuticals, but have more recently been applied [...] Read more.
Evaluation of the costs and outcomes associated with environmental policies and interventions is often required to inform public policy and allocate scarce resources. Methods to conduct assessments of cost-effectiveness have been developed in the context of pharmaceuticals, but have more recently been applied in public health, diagnostics, and other more complex interventions. The suitability of existing economic evaluation methodology has been explored in many contexts, however, this is yet to be undertaken for interventions and policies pertaining to the natural environment, such as urban green spaces and strategies to reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution. To make significant inroads into the evaluation of interventions and policies relating to the natural environment requires an understanding of the challenges faced in this context. Many of these challenges may be practical (data-related), however, a number are also methodological, and thus have implications for the appropriate framework for economic evaluation. This paper considers some of the challenges faced when conducting cost-effectiveness analyses in this context and explores what solutions have been proposed thus far. The intention is to help pave the way for consideration of which existing framework is most appropriate for the evaluation of natural environment (NE) interventions, or if a distinct framework is required. Environmental policies and interventions relating to the built environment, for example, housing, are not explicitly included here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions)
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Open AccessArticle
Haze Attitudes and the Willingness to Pay for Haze Improvement: Evidence from Four Cities in Shandong Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2297; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102297
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
PDF Full-text (755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Given the health and welfare impacts of haze, haze reduction governance challenges Chinese policy-makers. Surprisingly, there have been no studies of the differences in the public’s willingness to pay (WTP) for haze governance within a province. Yet haze reduction policies are implemented [...] Read more.
Background: Given the health and welfare impacts of haze, haze reduction governance challenges Chinese policy-makers. Surprisingly, there have been no studies of the differences in the public’s willingness to pay (WTP) for haze governance within a province. Yet haze reduction policies are implemented at the provincial level. Based on the contingent valuation method, data on WTP for haze governance across four industrial cities in Shandong province were collected using a questionnaire survey. Method: A combination of stratified sampling and non-probability sampling methods were used, yielding a valid sample of 1006 respondents. The Heckman sample selection model was used to analyze factors determining WTP and WTP amount. Results: 53% of respondents were unwilling to pay for haze reduction, while less than 1% of these respondents were satisfied with Shandong’s air quality. About half (47%) of the respondents were willing to pay, on average, US$14.14 per household per year for haze governance. We found that there were significant inter-city differences in the WTP and WTP amounts: those with a higher income, education, haze knowledge, and haze concern were WTP; age, marital status, and subjective indicators displayed a negative relationship with WTP amount. About two thirds of the non-payers, and those with poor environmental knowledge, argued that air quality improvement was mainly the responsibility of governments (39.3%) and polluters (25.6%), instead of ordinary citizens. Further, 27% of non-payers said that their income was too low to contribute to a pollution tax and 6.3% claimed that they did not believe the funds would be used effectively for environmental conservation. Conclusions: City-specific differences in WTP may caution against “one size fits all” policies. The study indicates that the government may need to target policies to specific cities and the characteristics of residents in those cities by age, education, and income groups and residents’ subjective evaluation of the government and the haze problem and those responsible for pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions)
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Open AccessArticle
The Trade-Off between Optimizing Flight Patterns and Human Health: A Case Study of Aircraft Noise in Queens, NY, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1753; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081753
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 15 August 2018
PDF Full-text (748 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Objectives: Airports in the U.S. have gradually been transitioning to automated flight systems. These systems generate new flight paths over populated areas. While they can improve flight efficiency, the increased noise associated with these novel flight patterns potentially pose serious health threats to [...] Read more.
Objectives: Airports in the U.S. have gradually been transitioning to automated flight systems. These systems generate new flight paths over populated areas. While they can improve flight efficiency, the increased noise associated with these novel flight patterns potentially pose serious health threats to the overflown communities. In this case study, we estimated the monetary benefits relative to health losses associated with one significant change in flight patterns at LaGuardia Airport, year-round use of “TNNIS Climb”, which happened in 2012 as a result of flight automation in New York City. Prior to that, the use of the TNNIS Climb was limited to the U.S. Open tennis matches. Methods: We developed a decision-analytic model using Markov health states to compare the costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained associated with the limited use of TNNIS (old status quo) and the year-round use of TNNIS (current status quo). The TNNIS Climb increases airplane noise to above 60 decibels (dB) over some of the most densely populated areas of the city. We used this increased exposure to noise as the basis for estimating ground-level health using data from sound monitors. The total costs (including both direct and indirect costs), QALYs, and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) were estimated for the limited versus the year-round use of the TNNIS Climb. Results: The incremental lifetime costs and QALYs per person exposed to noise associated with the limited versus the year-round use of TNNIS was $11,288, and 1.13, respectively. Therefore, the limited use of TNNIS had an ICER of $10,006/QALY gained relative to the year-round of TNNIS. Our analyses were robust to changes in assumptions and data inputs. Conclusions: Despite increases in efficiency, flight automation systems without a careful assessment of noise might generate flight paths over densely populated areas and cause serious health conditions for the overflown communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatiotemporal Assessment of PM2.5-Related Economic Losses from Health Impacts during 2014–2016 in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1278; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061278
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 16 June 2018
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (12178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Background: Particulate air pollution, especially PM2.5, is highly correlated with various adverse health impacts and, ultimately, economic losses for society, however, few studies have undertaken a spatiotemporal assessment of PM2.5-related economic losses from health impacts covering all of [...] Read more.
Background: Particulate air pollution, especially PM2.5, is highly correlated with various adverse health impacts and, ultimately, economic losses for society, however, few studies have undertaken a spatiotemporal assessment of PM2.5-related economic losses from health impacts covering all of the main cities in China. Methods: PM2.5 concentration data were retrieved for 190 Chinese cities for the period 2014–2016. We used a log-linear exposure–response model and monetary valuation methods, such as value of a statistical life (VSL), amended human capital (AHC), and cost of illness to evaluate PM2.5-related economic losses from health impacts at the city level. In addition, Monte Carlo simulation was used to analyze uncertainty. Results: The average economic loss was 0.3% (AHC) to 1% (VSL) of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of 190 Chinese cities from 2014 to 2016. Overall, China experienced a downward trend in total economic losses over the three-year period, but the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei, Shandong Peninsula, Yangtze River Delta, and Chengdu-Chongqing regions experienced greater annual economic losses. Conclusions: Exploration of spatiotemporal variations in PM2.5-related economic losses from long-term health impacts could provide new information for policymakers regarding priority areas for PM2.5 pollution prevention and control in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions)
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Open AccessArticle
Farmers’ Willingness to Pay for Health Risk Reductions of Pesticide Use in China: A Contingent Valuation Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040625
Received: 3 February 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (795 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed to estimate farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for health risk reductions of pesticide use by applying the contingent valuation method (CVM) and to explore the factors that influence farmers’ WTP in China. In total, 244 farmers were randomly selected and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to estimate farmers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for health risk reductions of pesticide use by applying the contingent valuation method (CVM) and to explore the factors that influence farmers’ WTP in China. In total, 244 farmers were randomly selected and interviewed. The mean WTP was estimated to be $65.38 (0.94% of total household income) per household per year for a 5/10,000 reduction in morbidity risk. This study shows that farmers’ socioeconomic and attitudinal factors that significantly affect their WTP include farmers’ farming income, education, household size and risk perceptions. In particular, the results demonstrate that respondents’ social trust, social reciprocity and social networks have significant impacts on their WTP. The findings of this study can provide useful insights for policy makers to design effective policies to address health problems related to pesticide use in the developing world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions)
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Open AccessArticle
Pollution Emissions, Environmental Policy, and Marginal Abatement Costs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1509; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121509
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (362 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pollution emissions impose serious social negative externalities, especially in terms of public health. To reduce pollution emissions cost-effectively, the marginal abatement costs (MACs) of pollution emissions must be determined. Since the industrial sectors are the essential pillars of China’s economic growth, as well [...] Read more.
Pollution emissions impose serious social negative externalities, especially in terms of public health. To reduce pollution emissions cost-effectively, the marginal abatement costs (MACs) of pollution emissions must be determined. Since the industrial sectors are the essential pillars of China’s economic growth, as well as leading energy consumers and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitters, estimating MACs of SO2 emissions at the industrial level can provide valuable information for all abatement efforts. This paper tries to address the critical and essential issue in pollution abatement: How do we determine the MACs of pollution emissions in China? This paper first quantifies the SO2 emission contribution of different industrial sectors in the Chinese economy by an Input-Output method and then estimates MACs of SO2 for industrial sectors at the national level, provincial level, and sectoral level by the shadow price theory. Our results show that six sectors (e.g., the Mining and Washing of Coal sector) should be covered in the Chinese pollution emission trading system. We have also found that the lowest SO2 shadow price is 2000 Yuan/ton at the national level, and that shadow prices should be set differently at the provincial level. Our empirical study has several important policy implications, e.g., the estimated MACs may be used as a pricing benchmark through emission allowance allocation. In this paper, the MACs of industrial sectors are calculated from the national, provincial and sectoral levels; therefore, we provide an efficient framework to track the complex relationship between sectors and provinces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions)
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Open AccessArticle
The Cost-Effectiveness of Lowering Permissible Noise Levels Around U.S. Airports
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1497; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14121497
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 26 November 2017 / Published: 2 December 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1756 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aircraft noise increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and mental illness. The allowable limit for sound in the vicinity of an airport is 65 decibels (dB) averaged over a 24-h ‘day and night’ period (DNL) in the United States. We evaluate the trade-off [...] Read more.
Aircraft noise increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and mental illness. The allowable limit for sound in the vicinity of an airport is 65 decibels (dB) averaged over a 24-h ‘day and night’ period (DNL) in the United States. We evaluate the trade-off between the cost and the health benefits of changing the regulatory DNL level from 65 dB to 55 dB using a Markov model. The study used LaGuardia Airport (LGA) as a case study. In compliance with 55 dB allowable limit of aircraft noise, sound insulation would be required for residential homes within the 55 dB to 65 dB DNL. A Markov model was built to assess the cost-effectiveness of installing sound insulation. One-way sensitivity analyses and Monte Carlo simulation were conducted to test uncertainty of the model. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of installing sound insulation for residents exposed to airplane noise from LGA was $11,163/QALY gained (95% credible interval: cost-saving and life-saving to $93,054/QALY gained). Changing the regulatory standard for noise exposure around airports from 65 dB to 55 dB comes at a very good value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
What Are the Net Benefits of Reducing the Ozone Standard to 65 ppb? An Alternative Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081586
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 21 July 2018 / Published: 26 July 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1806 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In October 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the level of the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) from 0.075 ppm to 0.070 ppm (annual 4th highest daily maximum 8-h concentration, averaged over three years). The EPA estimated a [...] Read more.
In October 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the level of the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) from 0.075 ppm to 0.070 ppm (annual 4th highest daily maximum 8-h concentration, averaged over three years). The EPA estimated a 2025 annual national non-California net benefit of $1.5 to $4.5 billion (2011$, 7% discount rate) for a 0.070 ppm standard, and a −$1.0 to $14 billion net benefit for an alternative 0.065 ppm standard. The purpose of this work is to present a combined toxicological and economic assessment of the EPA’s benefit-cost analysis of the 2015 ozone NAAQS. Assessing the quality of the epidemiology studies based on considerations of bias, confounding, chance, integration of evidence, and application of the studies for future population risk estimates, we derived several alternative benefits estimates. We also considered the strengths and weaknesses of the EPA’s cost estimates (e.g., marginal abatement costs), as well as estimates completed by other authors, and provided our own alternative cost estimate. Based on our alternative benefits and cost calculations, we estimated an alternative net benefit of between −$0.3 and $1.8 billion for a 0.070 ppm standard (2011 $, 7% discount rate) and between −$23 and −$17 billion for a 0.065 ppm standard. This work demonstrates that alternative reasonable assumptions can generate very difference cost and benefits estimates that may impact how policy makers view the outcomes of a major rule. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Interventions)
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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