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Changes in the Value of Life, 1940--1980

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  • Dora L. Costa

    ()

  • Matthew E. Kahn

Abstract

We present the first nationwide value of life estimates for the United States at more than one point in time. Our estimates are for every ten years between 1940 and 1980, a period when declines in fatal accident rates were historically unprecedented. Our estimated elasticity of value of life with respect to per capita GNP is 1.5 to 1.7. We illustrate the importance of rising value of life for policy evaluation by examining the benefits of improved longevity since 1900. Our estimated elasticity implies that the current marginal increase in longevity is more valuable than the large increase in the first half of the twentieth century.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

Volume (Year): 29 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (09)
Pages: 159-180

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:29:y:2004:i:2:p:159-180

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100299

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
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    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-05-05 22:25:00
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    by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-09-28 16:18:00
  7. Proactive Climate Change Adaptation
    by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-10-01 03:54:00
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