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The value of a statistical life under ambiguity aversion

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  • 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.

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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

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:59:y:2010:i:1:p:15-26

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. d'Albis, Hippolyte & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2012. "Ambiguous Life Expectancy and the Demand for Annuities," TSE Working Papers 12-323, 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 & Hammitt, James & Treich, Nicolas, 2013. "Risk and Choice: A Research Saga," TSE Working Papers 13-444, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  4. BERGER, Loïc & BLEICHRODT, Han & EECKHOUDT, Louis, . "Treatment decisions under ambiguity," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2494, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00721281 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Courbage, Christophe & Rey, Béatrice & Treich, Nicolas, 2013. "Prevention and precaution," TSE Working Papers 13-445, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2010. "Health Investments Under Risk And Ambiguity," Working Papers in Economics 443, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  10. Gollier, Christian & Alary, David, 2008. "Should more ambiguity averse agents exert more effort ?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6500, Paris Dauphine University.
  11. Rachel Croson & Nicolas Treich, 2014. "Behavioral Environmental Economics: Promises and Challenges," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(3), pages 335-351, July.
  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. 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.
  14. 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.

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