Residents of Seoul are willing to pay extra 140,000 won in annual taxes to resolve the fine dust issue. According to the “Social report on Seoul metropolitan government’s fine dust management policies” published by the Seoul Institute on Sunday, the willingness to pay (WTP) of an average household in Seoul to reduce fine dust in the air by 2025 is 138,107 won per year. WTP is the maximum price at which a consumer will buy a product or service. Multiplied by the total number of households, citizens in Seoul are willing to pay 540.7 billion won per year.
The recently published paper was written based on a hypothesis of reducing the 2017 level of ultrafine dust in Seoul at 25μg per m³ to the WHO-recommend level of 15μg per m³ by 2025. The Seoul Institute also conducted a similar survey of 551 households in June last year.
If the ultrafine dust level goes below the WHO standard, deaths by fine dust will decrease by about eight percent. Deaths caused by heart diseases, such as angina and myocardial infarction, will decrease by 40.8 percent and mortality risk of those aged 65 or older will also drop 13.9 percent.
The Seoul Institute estimated the monetary benefits of better health of Seoul residents at 413.9 billion won per year. In addition, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) of the Korean capital city will expand by 16 billion won a year thanks to lower medical costs and higher labor productivity.