Willingness-to-pay for a statistical life in the times of a pandemic

Health Econ. 2008 Jan;17(1):55-66. doi: 10.1002/hec.1236.


A contingent valuation was performed based on cross-sectional web-based interviews of individuals aged 16-82 years of age presenting a scenario of influenza pandemic. The mean WTP for a course of Tamiflu was NOK 1034 (median NOK 250). Anxious individuals perceived the pandemic mortality risk to be higher than others, but also perceived the benefit of Tamiflu as greater. They also expressed a higher WTP for Tamiflu, but the implied VOSL was less than for other respondents. The results suggest that fear and anxiety distort decision making under uncertainty and decrease focus on the perceived risk reduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antiviral Agents / economics*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Economics, Medical
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / drug therapy
  • Influenza, Human / economics*
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oseltamivir / economics*
  • Oseltamivir / therapeutic use
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Oseltamivir