Environmental effects on public health: an economic perspective

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009 Aug;6(8):2160-78. doi: 10.3390/ijerph6082160. Epub 2009 Jul 31.


In this article we critically review the economic literature on the effects of environmental changes on public health, in both the developed and the developing world. We first focus on the economic methodologies that are available for the evaluation of the effects (social costs and benefits) of environmental changes (degradation/preservation) on public health. Then, we explain how the monetary evaluations of these effects can feed back in the construction of economic policy for creating agent-specific incentives for more efficient public health management, which is also equitable and environmentally sustainable. Our exposition is accompanied by a synthesis of the available quantitative empirical results.

Keywords: environmental management; health risks; valuation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Climate Change / economics*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / economics*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Developed Countries / economics*
  • Developing Countries / economics*
  • Environmental Pollution / adverse effects
  • Environmental Pollution / economics*
  • Environmental Pollution / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Policy Making
  • Value of Life