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The Value of a Statistical Life: Evidence from Panel Data

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Author Info

  • Thomas J. Kniesner

    (Center for Policy Research, Syracuse University, and IZA)

  • W. Kip Viscusi

    (Vanderbilt University)

  • Christopher Woock

    (Abbott)

  • James P. Ziliak

    (Center for Poverty Research, University of Kentucky)

Abstract

We address long-standing concerns in the literature on compensating wage differentials: the econometric properties of the estimated value of statistical life (VSL) and the wide range of such estimates. We confront prominent econometric issues using panel data, a more accurate fatality risk measure, and systematic application of panel data estimators. Controlling for measurement error, endogeneity, latent individual heterogeneity possibly correlated with regressors, state dependence, and sample composition yields VSL estimates of $4 million to $10 million. The comparatively narrow range clarifies the cost-effectiveness of regulatory decisions. Most important econometrically is controlling for latent heterogeneity; less important is how one does it. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 74-87

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:1:p:74-87

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Cited by:
  1. Cropper, Maureen & Hammitt, James & Robinson, Lisa, 2011. "Valuing Mortality Risk Reductions:Progress and Challenges," LERNA Working Papers 11.11.345, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  2. W. Viscusi, 2010. "The heterogeneity of the value of statistical life: Introduction and overview," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, February.
  3. Tomas J. Philipson & George Zanjani, 2013. "Economic Analysis of Risk and Uncertainty induced by Health Shocks: A Review and Extension," NBER Working Papers 19005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Thomas Kniesner & W. Viscusi & James Ziliak, 2010. "Policy relevant heterogeneity in the value of statistical life: New evidence from panel data quantile regressions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 15-31, February.
  5. Brown, Timothy Tyler, 2014. "How effective are public health departments at preventing mortality?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 34-45.
  6. Rohlfs, Chris & Sullivan, Ryan & Kniesner, Thomas J., 2012. "New Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life Using Air Bag Regulations as a Quasi-Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6994, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Bergstrom Ted C. & Garratt Rod & Sheehan-Connor Damien, 2012. "Stem Cell Donor Matching for Patients of Mixed Race," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, July.
  8. Dennis Guignet & Anna Alberini, 2013. "Can Property Values Capture Changes in Environmental Health Risks? Evidence from a Stated Preference Study in Italy and the UK," Working Papers 2013.67, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. Friedson, Andrew I. & Kniesner, Thomas J., 2011. "Losers and Losers: Some Demographics of Medical Malpractice Tort Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 5921, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Luke Haywood, 2014. "Too Rich to Do the Dirty Work?: Wealth Effects on the Demand for Good Jobs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1355, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Kniesner, Thomas J. & Viscusi, W. Kip & Ziliak, James P., 2012. "Willingness to Accept Equals Willingness to Pay for Labor Market Estimates of the Value of Statistical Life," IZA Discussion Papers 6816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Cameron, Trudy Ann & DeShazo, J.R., 2013. "Demand for health risk reductions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 87-109.
  13. Pijoan-Mas, Josep & Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor, 2012. "Heterogeneity in Expected Longevities," CEPR Discussion Papers 9123, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. 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).
  15. Jonathan M. Lee & Laura O. Taylor, 2014. "Randomized Safety Inspections And Risk Exposure On The Job: Quasi-Experimental Estimates Of The Value Of A Statistical Life," Working Papers 14-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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