This paper reports on the first attempt to measure the value of statistical life (VSL) in the context of mortality risk from air pollution in urban Bangladesh, using the contingent valuation (CV) method. The CV survey was conducted in 2013 in Dhaka and Chittagong, the two most densely populated cities in the country. We asked individuals willingness to pay (WTP) for mortality risk reduction from air quality improvement program and found that willingness to pay is correlated with the socio-economic characteristics, health status, and risk perception of the respondents, consistently with existing studies. The bootstrapped mean of VSL is ranged from 17,480-22,463 USD in purchasing power parity terms, which is equivalent to 9.78-12.57 times of GDP per capita of Bangladesh. Considering our study setting, the results we obtained may be regarded as a lower bound of VSL estimates in the context of environmental risk reductions in Bangladesh.
Keywords: value of statistical life, willingness to pay, contingent valuation, air pollution, Bangladesh