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The Cost-per-Life-Saved Cutoff for Safety-Enhancing Regulations

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  • Lutter, Randall
  • Morrall, John F, III
  • Viscusi, W Kip

Abstract

This article develops a model of the conditions under which risk regulations that are too expensive have net adverse health effects. Two principal components of this relationship are the implicit value of life and the income elasticity of risky behaviors. Using new empirical estimates for the income elasticity of many of the most consequential risk-related behaviors, our results imply that a $15 million decrease in income is associated with the loss of an additional statistical life. Regulations that cost more than $15 million per expected life saved will have counterproductive effects on individual mortality. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 37 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 599-608

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:37:y:1999:i:4:p:599-608

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Cited by:
  1. Glenn C. Blomquist, 2004. "Self-Protection and Averting Behavior, Values of Statistical Lives, and Benefit Cost Analysis of Environmental Policy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 89-110, 03.
  2. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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