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Evaluating human life using court decisions on damages for pain and suffering

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Author Info

  • Leiter, Andrea
  • Thöni, Magdalena
  • Winner, Hannes

Abstract

This paper provides a framework to evaluate human life based on civil court decisions on damages for pain and suffering. Using judgements from Germany and Austria over the last 25 years, we calculate an average Value of Damages for Pain and Suffering (VDPS) of about EUR 1.79 millions, with a minimum (maximum) of around EUR 0.67 (4.62) millions. Our approach also allows to calculate the value of body parts and body functions, which might be of interest if information on the benefit of an individual's change in life quality is not (entirely) available.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 119-128

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:32:y:2012:i:1:p:119-128

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

Related research

Keywords: Pain and suffering; Value of statistical life (VSL); Quality adjusted life years (QALY); Tort law;

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  1. James M. Anderson & Jeffrey R. Kling & Kate Stith, 1998. "Measuring Inter-judge Sentencing Disparity Before and After the Federal Sentencing Guidelines," Working Papers 153, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
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  3. Weiss, P. & Maier, G. & Gerking, S.D., 1986. "The economic evaluation of job safety: A methodological survey and some estimates for Austria," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4742810, Tilburg University.
  4. Maier, G. & Gerking, S.D. & Weiss, P., 1989. "The economics of traffic accidents on Austrian roads: Risk lovers or policy deficit?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4742827, Tilburg University.
  5. Lott, John R, Jr & Manning, Richard L, 2000. "Have Changing Liability Rules Compensated Workers Twice for Occupational Hazards? Earnings Premiums and Cancer Risks," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 99-130, January.
  6. Hannes Spengler & Sandra Schaffner, 2007. "Using Job Changes to Evaluate the Bias of the Value of a Statistical Life," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 713, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Jones-Lee, Michael W, 1974. "The Value of Changes in the Probability of Death or Injury," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 835-49, July/Aug..
  8. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
  9. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & O'Conor, Richard M, 1996. "The Value of Private Safety versus the Value of Public Safety," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 263-75, November.
  10. W. Viscusi, 2008. "How to value a life," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 311-323, October.
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  12. Weinstein, Milton C & Shepard, Donald S & Pliskin, Joseph S, 1980. "The Economic Value of Changing Mortality Probabilities: A Decision-Theoretic Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 373-96, March.
  13. Drummond, Michael F. & Sculpher, Mark J. & Torrance, George W. & O'Brien, Bernie J. & Stoddart, Greg L., 2005. "Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780198529453, September.
  14. repec:reg:wpaper:282 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Oberhofer, Harald & Stöckl, Matthias & Winner, Hannes, 2012. "The wage premium of globalization: Evidence from European mergers and acquisitions," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-6, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Benjamin Furlan & Harald Oberhofer & Hannes Winner, 2014. "A Note on Merger and Acquisition Evaluation," WIFO Working Papers 462, WIFO.
  3. Rathner, Sebastian, 2012. "The Performance of Socially Responsible Investment Funds: A Meta-Analysis," Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2012-3, University of Salzburg.
  4. Verhoest, Koen & Petersen, Ole Helby & Scherrer, Walter & Murwantara Soecipto, Raden, 2014. "Policy commitment, legal and regulatory framework, and institutional support for PPP in international comparison: Indexing countries’ readiness for taking up PPP," Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014-3, University of Salzburg.
  5. Rathner, Sebastian, 2013. "The Relative Performance of Socially Responsible Investment Funds. New Evidence from Austria," Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2013-1, University of Salzburg.

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