Valuing Reductions in Environmental Sources of Infertility Risk Using the Efficient Household Framework

EPA Grant Number: R825308
Title: Valuing Reductions in Environmental Sources of Infertility Risk Using the Efficient Household Framework
Investigators: Van Houtven, George L. , Smith, V. Kerry
Institution: Desert Research Institute , Duke University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: October 1, 1996 through September 30, 1997
Project Amount: $170,971
RFA: Decision-Making and Valuation for Environmental Policy (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice


There is an increasing body evidence suggesting that a broad range of pollutants have the potential to alter human endocrine systems. One disturbing consequence of exposures to these endocrine disruptors is that they may significantly increase the incidence of infertility in exposed populations. The purpose of this research is to develop and evaluate a methodology for assessing the magnitude of human values associated with reducing infertility risks from environmental sources. Most previous research in health and environmental valuation has focused on individual decisions; however, infertility risks clearly present a context where the household (i.e., the couple) is the relevant decision making unit. This research will develop and refine a conceptual framework for linking collective (household) decisions to the preferences of the individual members. It will provide a conceptual basis for deriving how measures of economic welfare based on households' observed or stated decisions relate to the preferences of the individual adult members living in that household. A series of focus groups will be conducted to evaluate hypotheses from the conceptual model and to explore couples' perceptions and attitudes regarding infertility risks and their joint decision processes for addressing infertility problems. One set of focus groups will be conducted with couples who wish to have children but have not yet resolved their fertility status. This will provide an ex ante perspective on couples' perceptions regarding the risks and implications of experiencing infertility. Participants will also be asked to evaluate proposed intervention programs or plans for reducing the risks of infertility. A second set of focus groups will be conducted with couples who are currently undergoing infertility treatment in order to examine how their expectations changed through their experiences, how the views on infertility differed within couples, and how they arrived at joint decisions regarding remedial expenditures and procedures. The focus groups will provide qualitative empirical support for the development of the conceptual model. They will also provide an important foundation for future applied research examining household decisions, particularly with regard to valuing reductions in infertility risks.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 5 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

valuation, public preference, cost-benefit., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Health, Scientific Discipline, Health Risk Assessment, Risk Assessments, decision-making, Ecological Risk Assessment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Social Science, Economics & Decision Making, ecosystem valuation, infertility risk, policy analysis, public resources, social psychology, compensation, risk preferences, valuation, decision analysis, economic benefits, valuing environmental quality, economic incentives, endocrine disruptors, environmental values, information dissemination, preference formation, standards of value, cost benefit, cost/benefit analysis, environmental policy, human exposure, community-based, psychological attitudes, public values, public policy, interviews, efficient household framework, cost effectiveness

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report