Invited Seminar Talk

Valuing Infertility: Evidence from a Large Stated-Preference Study

Christoph Rheinberger
Invited Seminar Talk, February 08, 2022

Christoph Rheinberger, Coordinator for Socio-Economic Analysis at the European Chemicals Agency reports on a new stated-preference study with aims at estimating a policy relevant value per statistical case of infertility.


Fertility decline is a rising global health concern with some researchers warning that, if falling trends in sperm counts and changes to sexual development continue, this could even threaten human survival. Chemicals are one among several contributors to fertility decline. Indeed, an ever-increasing amount of reprotoxic substances are accumulating in the environment. This poses challenges for regulators, one of which relates to the monetization of health benefits expected from actions to curb emissions of reprotoxic substances.

This paper reports on a new stated-preference study with aims at estimating a policy relevant value per statistical case of infertility. To that end, we administered a DBDC contingent valuation survey to 10,800 respondents from nine OECD countries, asking whether they would be willing to pay a monthly fee over 20 months to ensure a reduction in infertility risk from substances in food packaging material. Respondents were representative of the general population with the additional constraints that they or their spouses were of childbearing age, in a stable relationship and wished for a(nother) child within the next five years. In other words, respondents would be direct beneficiaries of safer food packaging.

First results suggest a mean WTP of €19-24 per month (for a 1% risk reduction), corresponding to a value of €38,000-48,000 per statistical case of infertility avoided (bids converted into € and adjusted for purchasing power). Demand is strongly correlated with the randomly assigned bid amount. A split sample treatment offering either 1% or 2% in risk reduction indicated satisfactory scope sensitivity. In a next step, we will analyze differences across countries and baseline risk groups and extend the analysis to more complex models that may account for potential endogeneity in risk control and risk perception.

Register to Take Part

You would like to attend the Seminar Talk? You are very welcome. Please register by writing an e-mail to office-myrskyla@demogr.mpg.de.

Seminar Talk, February, 8th from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Rostock time)

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.