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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, 2010. "Are Most People Consequentialists?," Working Papers in Economics 467, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. 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).
  4. Elvik, Rune, 2013. "Paradoxes of rationality in road safety policy," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 62-70.
  5. Judith Covey & Angela Robinson & Michael Jones-Lee & Graham Loomes, 2010. "Responsibility, scale and the valuation of rail safety," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 85-108, February.
  6. Anthony J Culyer & Yvonne Bombard, 2011. "An Equity Checklist: a Framework for Health Technology Assessments," Working Papers 062cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  7. 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, vol. 30(2), pages 466-478, March.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

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