Combining discourse analyses to enrich theory: The case of local land-use policies in South Eastern FranceJournal articleLaurence Delattre, Olivier Chanel, Cecile Livenais and Claude Napoléone, Ecological Economics, Volume 113, Issue C, pp. 60-75, 2015

Local land-use policies are determined by a wide range of considerations that do not always favor open-space preservation. To identify them, a field study was undertaken in South Eastern France via semi-directive interviews with people responsible for municipal land-use policies. We use it to compare a qualitative (i.e. manual) discourse analysis with two quantitative (i.e. computer-assisted) analyses and combine them to identify the drivers of land-use policies, especially with regard to urban sprawl. Performing all three analyses allows us to switch back and forth between a local empirical approach and large-scale modeling and methods. This should enrich micro-economic models by clarifying more complex local features, like unbalanced relationships with neighboring municipalities or why “agriculture” should be considered as an independent interest group.

Quelques clarifications sur l’évaluation monétaire des effets sanitaires relatifs à la pollution atmosphériqueJournal articleOlivier Chanel, Mathilde Pascal, Sylvia Medina and Pascal Beaudeau, Environnement, Risques & Santé, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp. 431-434, 2015

L'évaluation des impacts sanitaires et économiques de la pollution atmosphérique constitue un enjeu majeur pour la population et pour les décideurs. Impliqués de longue date dans ce domaine, nous ne pouvons que nous féliciter de la parution de l'article de Rafenberg et al. (2015). II contribue en effet à la prise en compte de la morbidité chronique dans l'évaluation économique des effets de la pollution atmosphérique, une voie que le projet Aphekom avait également exploré par d'autres approches. Il nous a pourtant semblé nécessaire de clarifier un certain nombre de points relatifs à cette publication. Nous commencerons par évoquer les questions de méthodes. Nous aborderons ensuite la présentation et l'interprétation de certaines études discutées dans Rafenberg et al. (2015), car la présence d'erreurs relativise la portée de certains points de la discussion de cet article.

Determinants of Local Public Policies for Farmland Preservation and Urban Expansion: A French IllustrationJournal articleOlivier Chanel, Laurence Delattre and Claude Napoléone, Land Economics, Volume 90, Issue 3, pp. 411-433, 2014

We outline the determinants of local public policies for farmland preservation and urban expansion. We first rely on the literature and on a purposely designed field study of municipalities in southern France to propose a theoretical framework better suited to the French situation. The model considers aspects of land consumption, includes two interest groups as well as the median voter, and is then econometrically tested. We confirm the expected effects of certain sociodemographic determinants and highlight the impact of municipal budgetary considerations and the role of the agricultural sector. We also find more counterintuitive determinants, like local political regime or unbalanced neighboring relationships.

Monetary values for risk of death from air pollution exposure: a context-dependent scenario with a control for intra-familial altruismJournal articleOlivier Chanel and Stéphane Luchini, Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp. 67-91, 2014

We extend the individual dynamic model of lifetime resource allocation to assess the monetary value given to the increase in survival probabilities for every member of a household induced by improved air quality. We interpret this monetary value as VPF (value of a prevented fatality), which can also be expressed as a flow of discounted VOLY (value of life years) lost, and account for potential altruism towards other household members. We use a French air pollution contingent valuation survey that provides a description of the life-length reduction implied by a change in air pollution exposure. By privatising the public commodity air pollution, we succeed in ruling out any form of altruism (towards others living today and towards future generations) except altruism towards one's family. We estimate a mean VOLY of € 2001 140,000, a 30% premium for VOLY in perfect health w.r.t. average expected health status, and a mean VPF of € 2001 1.45 million for the respondent, all context-specific. In addition, we find an inverted U-shaped relationship between his/her age and VOLY/VPF, and significant benevolence only towards children under 18.

Willingness to pay of committed citizens: A field experimentJournal articleDominique Ami, Frédéric Aprahamian, Olivier Chanel, Robert-Vincent Joule and Stéphane Luchini, Ecological Economics, Volume 105, Issue C, pp. 31-39, 2014

In this paper, we propose a behavioral approach to determine the extent to which the consumer/citizen distinction affects interpretations of monetary values in stated preferences methods. We perform a field experiment dealing with air pollution, where some (randomly selected) subjects are given the opportunity to behave politically by signing a petition for environmental protection prior to stating their private preferences in a standard contingent valuation exercise. We show that signing has the potential to influence respondents' willingness to pay values. Results indicate that even market-like situations are not immune to citizen behavior.

Economic valuation of the mortality benefits of a regulation on SO2 in 20 European citiesJournal articleOlivier Chanel, Susann Henschel, Patrick G. Goodman, Antonis Analitis, Richard Atkinson, Alain Le Tertre, Ariana Zeka and S. Medina, European Journal of Public Health, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp. 631-637, 2014

Since the 1970s, legislation has led to progress in tackling several air pollutants. We quantify the annual monetary benefits resulting from reductions in mortality from the year 2000 onwards following the implementation of three European Commission regulations to reduce the sulphur content in liquid fuels for vehicles. We first compute premature deaths attributable to these implementations for 20 European cities in the Aphekom project by using a two-stage health impact assessment method. We then justify our choice to only consider mortality effects as short-term effects. We rely on European studies when selecting the central value of a life-year estimate (€2005 86 600) used to compute the monetary benefits for each of the cities. We also conduct an independent sensitivity analysis as well as an integrated uncertainty analysis that simultaneously accounts for uncertainties concerning epidemiology and economic valuation. Results: The implementation of these regulations is estimated to have postponed 2212 (95% confidence interval: 772–3663) deaths per year attributable to reductions in sulphur dioxide for the 20 European cities, from the year 2000 onwards. We obtained annual mortality benefits related to the implementation of the European regulation on sulphur dioxide of €2005 191.6 million (95% confidence interval: €2005 66.9–€2005 317.2). Conclusion: Our approach is conservative in restricting to mortality effects and to short-term benefits only, thus only providing the lower-bound estimate. Our findings underline the health and monetary benefits to be obtained from implementing effective European policies on air pollution and ensuring compliance with them over time.

Valuing life: Experimental evidence using sensitivity to rare eventsJournal articleOlivier Chanel and Graciela Chichilnisky, Ecological Economics, Volume 85, Issue C, pp. 198-205, 2013

Global environmental phenomena like climate change, major extinction events or flutype pandemics can have catastrophic consequences. By properly assessing the outcomes involved – especially those concerning human life – economic theory of choice under uncertainty is expected to help people take the best decision. However, the widely used expected utility theory values life in terms of the low probability of death someone would be willing to accept in order to receive extra payment. Common sense and experimental evidence refute this way of valuing life, and here we provide experimental evidence of people's unwillingness to accept a low probability of death, contrary to expected utility predictions. This work uses new axioms of choice defined by Chichilnisky (2000), especially an axiom that allows extreme responses to extreme events, and the choice criterion that they imply. The implied decision criteria are a combination of expected utility with extreme responses, and seem more consistent with observations.

Quantifying the health impacts of outdoor air pollution: useful estimations for public health actionJournal articleSylvia Medina, Ferran Ballester, Olivier Chanel, Christophe Declercq and Mathilde Pascal, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Volume 67, Issue 6, pp. 480-483, 2013
Assessing the public health impacts of urban air pollution in 25 European cities: Results of the Aphekom projectJournal articleMathilde Pascal, Magali Corso, Olivier Chanel, Christophe Declercq, Chiara Badaloni, Giulia Cesaroni, Susann Henschel, Kadri Meister, Daniela Haluza, Piedad Martin-Olmedo, et al., Science of The Total Environment, Volume 449, pp. 390-400, 2013

The Aphekom project aimed to provide new, clear, and meaningful information on the health effects of air pollution in Europe. Among others, it assessed the health and monetary benefits of reducing short and long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) and ozone in 25 European cities.

Health impact assessments were performed using routine health and air quality data, and a common methodology. Two scenarios were considered: a decrease of the air pollutant levels by a fixed amount and a decrease to the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines. Results were economically valued by using a willingness to pay approach for mortality and a cost of illness approach for morbidity.

In the 25 cities, the largest health burden was attributable to the impacts of chronic exposure to PM2.5. Complying with the WHO guideline of 10 μg/m3 in annual mean would add up to 22 months of life expectancy at age 30, depending on the city, corresponding to a total of 19,000 deaths delayed. The associated monetary gain would total some €31 billion annually, including savings on health expenditures, absenteeism and intangible costs such as well-being, life expectancy and quality of life.

European citizens are still exposed to concentrations exceeding the WHO recommendations. Aphekom provided robust estimates confirming that reducing urban air pollution would result in significant health and monetary gains in Europe. This work is particularly relevant now when the current EU legislation is being revised for an update in 2013.

Ambient air SO2 patterns in 6 European citiesJournal articleSusann Henschel, Xavier Querol, Richard Atkinson, Marco Pandolfi, Ariana Zeka, Alain Le Tertre, Antonis Analitis, Klea Katsouyanni, Olivier Chanel, Mathilde Pascal, et al., Atmospheric Environment, Volume 79, pp. 236-247, 2013

An analysis of the hourly SO2 pollution patterns with time can be a useful tool for policy makers and stakeholders in developing more effective local policies in relation to air quality as it facilitates a deeper understanding of concentrations and potential source apportionment.
A detailed analysis of hourly inter-annual, seasonal and weekday-specific SO2 concentration patterns using data obtained from 6 cities involved in the Aphekom project was conducted. This type of analysis has been done for other pollutants but less so for SO2, and not in a systematic fashion for a number of European cities.
Individual diurnal SO2 profiles and working weekday versus weekend specific 24-hr plots were generated using hourly SO2 measurements from a roadside and an urban background monitoring sites for 1993, 2001 and 2009 for each of the 6 European cities (Athens, Barcelona, Brussels, London, Paris, and Vienna). This facilitated the assessment of city specific patterns and comparison of changes with time.
SO2 concentrations varied throughout the day and tended to be lower on the weekends. A general decreasing trend for SO2 levels with time was observable at all stations.
This study provides a useful European perspective on patterns of exposure. For the 6 EU cities examined, road traffic, heating, and shipping in port cities appeared to be important sources of SO2 emissions, and hence the driving components widely reflected in the diurnal profiles with lower levels on the weekend likely due to lower traffic volume and industry related emissions. Although ambient SO2 concentrations have fallen over the assessed study period at all measurement sites, the daily patterns remained relatively unchanged.