Parental Altruism and the Value of Avoiding Acute Illness: Are Kids Worth More Than Parents?
Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs
A model describing parents' preferences to relieve their own and their children's acute illnesses is estimated using stated-preference data. Estimated marginal rates of substitution (MRS) between child and parent illness are about two, indicating that parents value children's illness attributes twice as highly as their own. The MRS is larger for younger children, falls toward unity as the child approaches adulthood, and appears to reflect parental altruism rather than parent-child differences in initial health or illness costs. Intra-family allocations may compensate for chronic health impairments. Parents' willingness to pay to avoid own or child illness increases with income, declines with fertility, increases at a decreasing rate with duration and number of symptoms, and depends on perceived discomfort and activity restrictions. Current methods of assessing morbidity benefits of environmental regulations may understate substantially the value of children's health, particularly in African-American families. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
Messman, V. L.
(2004). Parental Altruism and the Value of Avoiding Acute Illness: Are Kids Worth More Than Parents?. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 48(3), 1146-1174.
Available at: http://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/2985