Valuing Children’s Health and Life: What Does Economic Theory Say About Including Parental and Societal Willingness To Pay?
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Governments can and do adopt many policies that will improve the health and reduce the mortality risks of children. Given this, estimates of the value of improvements in children’s health and reductions in their mortality risk are needed so that governments can rationally choose which of the many possible policies to adopt. These estimates should be based on an appropriate measure of value that is based on economic theory. This paper examines what economic theory has to say about what sorts of elements should be counted in that value, and how that value should then be used in decision-making.