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Are estimates of the value of a statistical life exaggerated?

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Author Info

  • Doucouliagos, Chris
  • Stanley, T.D.
  • Giles, Margaret

Abstract

The magnitude of the value of a statistical life (VSL) is critical to the evaluation of many health and safety initiatives. To date, the large and rigorous VSL research literature has not explicitly accommodated publication selectivity bias (i.e., the reduced probability that insignificant or negative VSL values are reported). This study demonstrates that doing so is essential. For studies that employ hedonic wage equations to estimate VSL, correction for selection bias reduces the average value of a statistical life by 70–80%. Our meta-regression analysis also identifies several sources for the wide heterogeneity found among reported VSL estimates.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 197-206

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:197-206

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

Related research

Keywords: Value of statistical life; Meta-regression analysis; Selectivity bias;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stephan B. Bruns, 2013. "Identifying Genuine Effects in Observational Research by Means of Meta-Regressions," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-040, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. T.D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2013. "Neither Fixed nor Random: Weighted Least Squares Meta-Analysis," Economics Series 2013_1, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  3. D.P. Doessel & Ruth F.G. Williams, 2012. "The New Welfare Measures," Working Papers 2012.07, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  4. Andersson, Henrik & Risa Hole, Arne & Svensson, Mikael, 2014. "Valuation of small and multiple health risks: A critical analysis of SP data applied to food and water safety," Karlstad University Working Papers in Economics 11, Department of Economics, Karlstad University.
  5. Feld, Lars P. & Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2013. "Capital structure choice and company taxation: A meta-study," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2850-2866.
  6. Abel Brodeur & Mathias Lé & Marc Sangnier & Yanos Zylberberg, 2012. "Star wars: The empirics strike back," Working Papers halshs-00710122, HAL.
  7. Abel Brodeur & Mathias Lé & Marc Sangnier & Yanos Zylberberg, 2012. "Star wars: The empirics strike back," PSE Working Papers halshs-00710122, HAL.
  8. Polat, Sezgin, 2013. "Wage Compensation for Risk: The Case of Turkey," GIAM Working Papers 13-11, Galatasaray University Economic Research Center.
  9. T.D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2013. "Better than Random: Weighted Least Squares Meta-Regression Analysis," Economics Series 2013_2, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  10. Doucouliagos, Hristos & Stanley, T.D. & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2014. "Publication selection and the income elasticity of the value of a statistical life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 67-75.
  11. Stefano Balbi & Carlo Giupponi & Roland Olschewski & Vahid Mojtahed, 2013. "The economics of hydro-meteorological disasters: approaching the estimation of the total costs," Working Papers 2013-12, BC3.
  12. Heckemeyer, Jost H. & Overesch, Michael, 2013. "Multinationals' profit response to tax differentials: Effect size and shifting channels," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-045, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  13. Guardado, José R. & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2013. "A Model of Worker Investment in Safety and Its Effects on Accidents and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 7428, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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