Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

The value of a statistical life under ambiguity aversion

Contents:

Author Info

  • Treich, Nicolas

Abstract

The paper shows that ambiguity aversion increases the value of a statistical life if the marginal utility of an increase in wealth is larger if one is alive rather than dead. Intuitively, ambiguity aversion has a similar effect as an increase in the perceived baseline mortality risk, and thus operates as the "dead anyway" effect. A numerical example suggests, however, that ambiguity aversion cannot justify the substantial "ambiguity premium" apparently embodied in environmental policy-making. The paper also shows that ambiguity aversion decreases the marginal cost of individual self-protection effort but may well decrease its marginal benefit, so that the total effect of ambiguity aversion on self-protection is unclear.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WJ6-4W8TW0X-2/2/4c195988f193d0e512c4eb6256c2718b
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 59 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 15-26

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:59:y:2010:i:1:p:15-26

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

Related research

Keywords: Ambiguity Value of a statistical life Uncertainty Risk aversion Willingness to pay Benefit-cost analysis Environmental risks Health policy;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Lange, Andreas, 2002. "Climate change and the irreversibility effect: combining expected utility and MaxiMin," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-29, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Yaari, Menahem E, 1987. "The Dual Theory of Choice under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, January.
  3. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  4. W. Viscusi & Harrell Chesson, 1999. "Hopes and Fears: the Conflicting Effects of Risk Ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 157-184, October.
  5. Chateauneuf, Alain & Cohen, Michele & Meilijson, Isaac, 2004. "Four notions of mean-preserving increase in risk, risk attitudes and applications to the rank-dependent expected utility model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 547-571, August.
  6. Yoram Halevy, 2007. "Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, 03.
  7. Thibault Gajdos & Takashi Hayashi & Jean-Marc Tallon & Jean-Christophe Vergnaud, 2006. "Attitude toward imprecise information," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v06081, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  8. Jason F. Shogren & Thomas D. Crocker, 1990. "Risk, Self-Protection, and Ex Ante Economic Value," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 90-wp57, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  9. Sujoy Mukerji & Peter Klibanoff, 2002. "A Smooth Model of Decision,Making Under Ambiguity," Economics Series Working Papers 113, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  10. Mary Riddel & W. Shaw, 2006. "A theoretically-consistent empirical model of non-expected utility: An application to nuclear-waste transport," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 131-150, March.
  11. Eeckhoudt, Louis R. & Hammitt, James K., 2004. "Does risk aversion increase the value of mortality risk?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 13-29, January.
  12. Nengjiu Ju & Jianjun Miao, 2010. "Ambiguity, Learning, and Asset Returns," CEMA Working Papers 438, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  13. Sunstein, Cass R, 2000. "Cognition and Cost-Benefit Analysis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 1059-1103, June.
  14. Segal, Uzi, 1987. "The Ellsberg Paradox and Risk Aversion: An Anticipated Utility Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 175-202, February.
  15. Persson, Ulf, et al, 2001. " The Value of a Statistical Life in Transport: Findings from a New Contingent Valuation Study in Sweden," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 121-34, September.
  16. 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..
  17. Zengjing Chen & Larry Epstein, 2002. "Ambiguity, Risk, and Asset Returns in Continuous Time," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1403-1443, July.
  18. Han Bleichrodt & Louis Eeckhoudt, 2006. "Willingness to pay for reductions in health risks when probabilities are distorted," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 211-214.
  19. James T. Hamilton & W. Kip Viscusi, 1999. "Are Risk Regulators Rational? Evidence from Hazardous Waste Cleanup Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1010-1027, September.
  20. 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.
  21. Friedrich Breyer & Stefan Felder, 2005. "Mortality Risk and the Value of a Statistical Life: The Dead-Anyway Effect Revis(it)ed," The Geneva Risk and Insurance Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(1), pages 41-55, June.
  22. Andersson, Henrik & Treich, Nicolas, 2009. "The Value of a Statistical Life," TSE Working Papers 09-015, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  23. Viscusi, W Kip, 1997. "Alarmist Decisions with Divergent Risk Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1657-70, November.
  24. Gilboa, Itzhak, 1987. "Expected utility with purely subjective non-additive probabilities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-88, February.
  25. Chambers, Robert G. & Melkonyan, Tigran A., 2007. "AJAE Appendix: Pareto Optimal Trade in an Uncertain World: GMOs and the Precautionary Principle," American Journal of Agricultural Economics Appendices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), May.
  26. David M Kreps & Evan L Porteus, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000009, David K. Levine.
  27. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Gollier, Christian, 2009. "Portfolio Choices and Asset Prices: The Comparative Statics of Ambiguity Aversion," IDEI Working Papers 357, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2011.
  29. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1996. "Willingness to Pay and the Distribution of Risk and Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 747-63, August.
  30. Peter Klibanoff, 2001. "Characterizing uncertainty aversion through preference for mixtures," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 289-301.
  31. Adler, Matthew D., 2007. "Why De Minimis?," Working paper 292, Regulation2point0.
  32. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00451982 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1990. "Rank-Dependent Probabilities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 487-95, June.
  34. Ghirardato, Paolo & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo, 2004. "Differentiating ambiguity and ambiguity attitude," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 133-173, October.
  35. Robert G. Chambers & Tigran A. Melkonyan, 2007. "Pareto Optimal Trade in an Uncertain World: GMOs and the Precautionary Principle," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), pages 520-532.
  36. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 12, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2006.
  37. Daniel Ellsberg, 2000. "Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7605, David K. Levine.
  38. Robert F. Nau, 2006. "Uncertainty Aversion with Second-Order Utilities and Probabilities," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 136-145, January.
  39. repec:reg:rpubli:292 is not listed on IDEAS
  40. Viscusi, W Kip & Evans, William N, 1990. "Utility Functions That Depend on Health Status: Estimates and Economic Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 353-74, June.
  41. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  42. Di Mauro, Carmela & Maffioletti, Anna, 1996. "An Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Ambiguity on the Valuation of Self-Insurance and Self-Protection," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 53-71, July.
  43. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  44. Karni, Edi, 1983. "Risk Aversion for State-Dependent Utility Functions: Measurement and Applications," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 637-47, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Gollier, Christian & Hammitt, James & Treich, Nicolas, 2013. "Risk and Choice: A Research Saga," TSE Working Papers 13-444, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  2. Riddel, Mary, 2011. "Uncertainty and measurement error in welfare models for risk changes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 341-354, May.
  3. Gollier, Christian & Alary, David, 2008. "Should more ambiguity averse agents exert more effort ?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6500, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Hippolyte d'Albis & Emmanuel Thibault, 2012. "Ambiguous Life Expectancy and the Demand for Annuities," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12050, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  5. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2010. "Health Investments Under Risk And Ambiguity," Working Papers in Economics 443, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  6. Athanassoglou, Stergios & Xepapadeas, Anastasios, 2012. "Pollution control with uncertain stock dynamics: When, and how, to be precautious," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 304-320.
  7. Berger, Loïc & Bleichrodt, Han & Eeckhoudt, Louis, 2013. "Treatment decisions under ambiguity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 559-569.
  8. Scotton, Carol R. & Taylor, Laura O., 2011. "Valuing risk reductions: Incorporating risk heterogeneity into a revealed preference framework," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 381-397, May.
  9. Aurelien Baillon & Olivier L'Haridon & Laetitia Placido, 2011. "Ambiguity Models and the Machina Paradoxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1547-60, June.
  10. Courbage, Christophe & Rey, Béatrice & Treich, Nicolas, 2013. "Prevention and precaution," TSE Working Papers 13-445, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  11. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00721281 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Huang, Rachel J. & Huang, Yi-Chieh & Tzeng, Larry Y., 2013. "Insurance bargaining under ambiguity," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 812-820.
  13. Francisco Alpizar & Fredrik Carlsson & Maria Naranjo, 2010. "The Effect of Risk, Ambiguity and Coordination on Farmers’ Adaptation to Climate Change: A Framed Field Experiment," Working Papers 2010.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:59:y:2010:i:1:p:15-26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.