NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Meng-Wen Tsou

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Working Papers

January 2007Health Information and Subjective Survival Probability: Evidence from Taiwan
with Jin-Tan Liu, James Hammitt: w12864
The effect of new health information on individuals' expectations about their longevity is examined using a Bayesian learning model. Using two-period panel-structured survey data from Taiwan, we find that subjective probabilities of living to age 75 and 85 are significantly smaller for respondents with more abnormal medical test outcomes and for those receiving more extensive advice on health behavior from their physicians. The subjective probability of survival declines with health shocks such as developing heart disease. Using pooled cross-sectional data, we find that males and married persons are more optimistic about their longevity expectations than females and single persons, and that income is strongly correlated with the subjective probability of living to age 75. Consistent with p...
October 2003Valuation of the Risk of SARS in Taiwan
with Jin-Tan Liu, James K. Hammitt, Jung-Der Wang: w10011
Two surveys conducted in Taiwan during the spring 2003 SARS epidemic reveal a high degree of concern about the threat posed by SARS to Taiwan and to residents, although respondents believe they are knowledgeable about the risk of SARS and that it is susceptible to individual control. WTP to reduce the risk of infection and death from SARS is elicited using contingent valuation methods. Estimated WTP is high, implying values per statistical life of US$3 to 12 million. While consistent with estimates for high-income countries, these values are substantially larger than previous estimates for Taiwan and may be attributable to the high degree of concern about SARS at the time the data were collected.

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