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Impact of Socio-demographic Factors on Willingness to Pay for the Reduction of a Future Health Risk

  • Ecology
  • Education
  • Geography


Knowledge of socio-demographic factors affecting attitudes to and perception of risk is an important instrument in enhancing efficiencies of interventions. The authors evaluated whether socio-demographic variables affected attitudes to an environmental issue (securing future drinking water). An important aspect was the delay between time of environmental pollution and time of human exposure and thereby potential health risk. Gender, education, place of residence and age all influenced the extent to which individuals were willing to allocate present resources to alleviate a future problem. Specifically, people above the age of 50 appeared more reluctant to pay for an intervention against a future potential health threat. The authors found a significant correlation between attitude and willingness to pay (WTP). In the authors' scenarios, the WTP variable worked more as a dichotomous variable than as a continuous variable, stressing the importance and relevance of the WTP=0 answers.

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