Before you think this is just another sports post, read on, there's an env-econ point. From Sports Illustrated:
World record holder Haile Gebrselassie is almost certain to miss the marathon at the Beijing Olympics because of the city's poor air quality.
The Ethiopian, who has asthma, fears damage to his health by running through the streets of the Chinese capital. The 34-year-old Gebrselassie would be a gold medal favorite if he did take part.
So now you are supposed to ask: But, Tim, what is it worth to reduce the incidence of asthma in China due to air pollution?
Well I'm glad you asked.
I am currently working on revising a paper titled: CONTINGENT VALUATON AND THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF AIR-POLLUTION-RELATED HEALTH RISKS IN CHINA*. The paper is part of a student's (Xiaoqi Guo) dissertation and is joint work with Jim Hammitt at Harvard. In it, we find that residents of Chengdu, China are willing to pay approximately 13,685 yuan (US$1711) for pollution reductions per case of asthma avoided. We further find that the implied value of a statistical life due air pollution related mortality is 189,960 yuan (US$23,745).
For those not familiar with value of statistical life computations, that's pretty low.
*Unfortunately the paper isn't quite to where I would call it a working paper. I'll let you know as soon as it is, because I know you're disappointed.