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Are some lives more valuable? An ethical preferences approach

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  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof
  • Martinsson, Peter

Abstract

We develop a theoretical model of the ethical preferences of individuals, combining individual social welfare functions and random utility theory. The model is applied by conducting a choice experiment regarding safety-enhancing road investments that target different age groups and road user types. The relative value of a saved life is found to decrease with age, such that the present value of a saved life-year is almost independent of age at a pure rate of time preference of a few percent. Moreover, a saved pedestrian is consistently valued higher than a saved car driver of the same age.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 739-752

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:3:p:739-752

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Carlsson, Fredrik & Daruvala, Dinky & Jaldell, Henrik, 2013. "Do administrators have the same priorities for risk reductions as the general public?," Karlstad University Working Papers in Economics 7, Department of Economics, Karlstad University.
  2. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2012. "Are most people consequentialists?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 225-228.
  3. Hultkrantz, Lars & Svensson, Mikael, 2012. "The value of a statistical life in Sweden: A review of the empirical literature," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 302-310.
  4. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & van den Berg, Bernard, 2011. "Putting Different Price Tags on the Same Health Condition: Re-evaluating the Well-Being Valuation Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 5493, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Lancsar, Emily & Wildman, John & Donaldson, Cam & Ryan, Mandy & Baker, Rachel, 2011. "Deriving distributional weights for QALYs through discrete choice experiments," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 466-478, March.
  6. Friedrich Breyer, 2009. "Health Care Rationing and Distributive Justice," Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, vol. 0(27), November.
  7. Anthony J Culyer & Yvonne Bombard, 2011. "An Equity Checklist: a Framework for Health Technology Assessments," Working Papers, Centre for Health Economics, University of York 062cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  8. Bert Wee & Piet Rietveld, 2013. "Using value of statistical life for the ex ante evaluation of transport policy options: a discussion based on ethical theory," Transportation, Springer, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 295-314, February.
  9. Elvik, Rune, 2013. "Paradoxes of rationality in road safety policy," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 62-70.
  10. Judith Covey & Angela Robinson & Michael Jones-Lee & Graham Loomes, 2010. "Responsibility, scale and the valuation of rail safety," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 85-108, February.

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