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The Economic Value of Risks to Life: Evidence from the Swiss Labour Market

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  • Andrea Baranzini
  • Giovanni Ferro Luzzi

Abstract

In this paper, we use the hedonic approach to estimate the value of a statistical life based on the 1995 Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS) and the 1994 Swiss Wage Structure Survey (SWSS). Roughly, the value of a statistical life in Switzerland ranges from CHF 10 to 15 million (6.5-9.5 million current US$). However, more important than the absolute value, our estimates should be taken as an indicator of the value of a statistical life, which is of an order of magnitude higher than previous studies on the value of life in Switzerland, none of which is based on the hedonic approach. Our study confirms previous literature, since the value of statistical life varies with risk level, union coverage, age, and model assumptions. In particular, by separating between individuals with union coverage and those without, we find a slightly higher (but not significantly so) risk premium for the former, which runs counter the idea that in Switzerland unions bargain for safety measures. Finally, along the lines of Moore and Viscusi (1988), we take into account the discounted life years lost, and find a discount rate not significantly different from zero with SLFS and even negative with the SWSS sample.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 137 (2001)
Issue (Month): II (June)
Pages: 149-170

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Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2001-ii-2

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Cited by:
  1. Beat Hintermann & Anna Alberini & Anil Markandya, 2006. "Estimating the Value of Safety with Labor Market Data: Are the Results Trustworthy?," Working Papers 2006.119, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Joseph E. Aldy & W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "Age Variations in Workers' Value of Statistical Life," NBER Working Papers 10199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Spengler, Hannes, 2004. "Kompensatorische Lohndifferenziale und der Wert eines statistischen Lebens in Deutschland (Compensating wage differentials and the value of a statistical life in Germany)," Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung - Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 37(3), pages 269-305.
  4. Spengler, Hannes, 2004. "Kompensatorische Lohndifferenziale und der Wert eines statistischen Lebens in Deutschland," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 37281, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
  5. Viscusi, W. Kip & Aldy, Joseph, 2006. "Labor Market Estimates of the Senior Discount for the Value of Statistical Life," Discussion Papers dp-06-12, Resources For the Future.
  6. Christoph Rheinberger, 2011. "A mixed logit approach to study preferences for safety on Alpine roads," Working Papers 45387, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  7. Andrea Baranzini & José V. Ramirez & Caroline Schaerer & Philippe Thalmann, 2008. "Introduction to this Volume: Applying Hedonics in the Swiss Housing Markets," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 144(IV), pages 543-559, December.
  8. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:37:i:3:p:269-305 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Abdelaziz Benkhalifa & Paul Lanoie & Mohamed Ayadi, 2013. "Estimated hedonic wage function and value of life in an African country," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 3023-3031.

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