A research report by UO economics professor Trudy Ann Cameron has been named the article of the year by the Journal of Environment Economics and Management.
Cameron, the Raymond F. Mikesell Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at the UO, published the paper in January 2013. It describes a new method for determining the value people place on small reductions in the risk of illness or death.
Such calculations are important in a variety of social and environmental contexts, such as understanding the benefits of medical research, environmental regulation or workplace safety rules. The calculation method proposed by Cameron and co-author J.R. DeShazo of the University of California at Los Angeles improves on existing methods by providing for a more detailed analysis and overcomes some longstanding limitations in the traditional approach.
The article, “Demand for health risk reductions,” is available here.
Cameron’s research focuses on methods of determining the value of things many people want or consider desirable but that often aren’t taken into account by markets when setting prices. Those things include intangibles such as having clean water or air, access to parks or recreation, healthier food, attractive neighborhoods or intact ecosystems.
“The idea is to think about the things we value, like risk reduction or free time or access to recreational sites, just like any other thing we might buy,” she said in a 2011 article in the UO’s CAScade magazine.
Cameron is a core member of the UO’s environmental studies faculty and teaches graduate-level classes in environmental economics and econometrics. Some of her recent research has measured the willingness of households to pay for the costs of climate change mitigation and reduced health risks. She has been at the UO since 2001.