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The value of a statistical life in Sweden: A review of the empirical literature

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  • Hultkrantz, Lars
  • Svensson, Mikael

Abstract

Recent focus on cost-benefit/socio-economic assessment of government “life-saving” programmes within public health, pharmaceutics, transport, and civil contingencies has spurred a wave of empirical research on the value of a statistical life (VSL) in Sweden. This paper provides an overview of the received evidence from a range of studies in one country and over a relatively short time period. A literature search was conducted in Econlit, Pubmed, Google Scholar and in bibliographies of published papers. Twelve studies on VSL with a total of 48 VSL estimates, published with data from Sweden from 1996 onwards, were identified. Among all estimates VSL varies from 9 to 1121 million SEK (€0.9–121 million). Based on a set of additional quality inclusion criteria, as used also in a recent global review of VSL studies, the sample is restricted to 9 studies with a total of 29 VSL estimates with VSL varying from 9 to 98 million SEK (€0.9–10.6 million). The raw mean among these estimates is 34.6 million SEK (€3.7 million) and the median is 23 million SEK (€2.5 million). Currently, official authorities in Sweden recommend a VSL of 22 million Swedish kronor (€2.4 million). We also point out important concerns regarding validity of these estimates: primarily the problem that VSL is significantly related to the size of the mortality risk reduction showing significant scale insensitivity, in contrast to theoretical assumptions but in line with previous empirical findings.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Health Policy.

Volume (Year): 108 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 302-310

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Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:108:y:2012:i:2:p:302-310

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/healthpol

Related research

Keywords: Willingness to pay; Value of a statistical life; Stated preferences; Revealed preferences; Economic evaluation;

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References

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  1. Henrik Andersson & Mikael Svensson, 2008. "Cognitive ability and scale bias in the contingent valuation method," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(4), pages 481-495, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Svensson, Mikael & Hultkrantz, Lars, 2012. "The Willingness to Pay for a QALY - Results based on value of statistical life estimates in Sweden," Karlstad University Working Papers in Economics 2, Department of Economics, Karlstad University.
  2. Hultkrantz, Lars & Svensson, Mikael, 2012. "A Comparison of Benefit Cost and Cost Utility Analysis in Practice: Divergent Policies in Sweden," Karlstad University Working Papers in Economics 1, Department of Economics, Karlstad University.
  3. Henrik Andersson & Arne Risa Hole & Mikael Svensson, 2014. "Valuation of Small and Multiple Health Risks: A Critical Analysis of SP Data Applied to Food and Water Safety," Working Papers 2014005, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.

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