Who counts in evaluating the effects of air pollution policies on households? Non-market valuation in the presence of dependencies
Individuals who are likely to realize the largest benefits from improvements in air quality often depend on other members of their households to make time or monetary contributions to their care. The presence of these dependency relationships among household members poses challenges for benefit estimation since it is unlikely that the conditions necessary for recovering the underlying individual preferences from household choices are satisfied in this setting. We propose a conceptual framework that highlights the role of these dependencies in the choice models used to estimate the willingness to pay for environmental quality improvements. We design a complementary stated preference survey that describes hypothetical dependency relationships for household members of different ages to test the implications of our conceptual model. Respondents' stated choices take into account the proposed care-giving responsibilities for young children and teenagers but not for older adults.