# 12-047/3 (2012-04-26)

Marija Bockarjova, VU University Amsterdam; Piet Rietveld, VU University Amsterdam; Erik T. Verhoef, VU University Amsterdam
cost-benefit analysis, natural hazard, flood risk, stated preferences, choice experiment
JEL codes:
C010, C330, C830, C900, D120, D610, Q510, Q540

This paper enriches existing valuation literature in a number of ways by presenting context-specific estimates of immaterial damage. First, it offers an estimation of value of statistical life (VOSL) in the context of a natural hazard (flooding). Next, as one of the contributions, alongside with less biased estimate of VOSL (euro 6.8 mln) it also provides estimates of the value of statistical injury (VOSI, euro 92,000), and of the value of statistical evacuation (VOSE, euro 2,400). Our estimated indicators are plausible and stay robust throughout various estimations. For flood protection policy in the Netherlands, a higher value of VOSL forthcoming from this research would imply 'underprotection' under current conditions. Another important finding concerns the composition of the total value of immaterial damages, where value of fatalities or value of evacuation may dominate depending on the prevailing floor risk circumstances. This implies that, first, VOSL is not an adequate proxy for immaterial damages since it understates prospective benefits of designated protective measures. Second, spatially differentiated composition of immaterial damages should be explicitly considered to guide policy decisions.