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Stability of Estimates of the Compensation for Danger

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Abstract

Estimates of the extra earnings for jobs with higher risks of death can be used in cost-benefit studies involving risk changes. Because of this use, the magnitude and stability of the estimated coefficient are important. Part of the current study closely reproduces a widely quoted 1982 study by Marin & Psacharopoulos to check on the stability. We also examine the robustness of the estimate to the inclusion/exclusion of non-fatal risks and other relevant characteristics. While the magnitude of the co-efficient has increased threefold from the earlier study, the coefficient is robust to other changes in the specification. There could be selectivity bias in the estimates of the extra return because people can select their occupation on the basis of its riskiness. Our findings suggest that one common technique to deal with selectivity bias in a continuous variable can give unreliable results in practice.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London in its series Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics with number 98/15.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Feb 1998
Date of revision: Feb 1998
Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:9815

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Keywords: Cost-Benefit; Value of Life; Labour market; Selectivity bias;

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  1. Kniesner, Thomas J & Leeth, John D, 1991. " Compensating Wage Differentials for Fatal Injury Risk in Australia, Japan, and the United States," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 75-90, January.
  2. Biddle, Jeff E & Zarkin, Gary A, 1988. "Worker Preferences and Market Compensation for Job Risk," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(4), pages 660-67, November.
  3. Viscusi, W. Kip & Moore, Michael J., 1989. "Rates of time preference and valuations of the duration of life," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 297-317, April.
  4. Garen, John, 1984. "The Returns to Schooling: A Selectivity Bias Approach with a Continuous Choice Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1199-1218, September.
  5. Liu, Jin-Tan & Hammitt, James K. & Liu, Jin-Long, 1997. "Estimated hedonic wage function and value of life in a developing country," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 353-358, December.
  6. Broome, John, 1985. "The Economic Value of Life," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 52(27), pages 281-94, August.
  7. Kahn, Shulamit & Lang, Kevin, 1988. "Efficient Estimation of Structural Hedonic Systems," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 157-66, February.
  8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  9. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  10. Sandy, Robert & Elliott, Robert F, 1996. "Unions and Risk: Their Impact on the Level of Compensation for Fatal Risk," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 291-309, May.
  11. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-46, December.
  12. Siebert, W Stanley & Wei, X, 1994. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Workplace Accidents: Evidence for Union and Nonunion Workers in the UK," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 61-76, July.
  13. Garen, John, 1988. "Compensating Wage Differentials and the Endogeneity of Job Riskiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 9-16, February.
  14. Ann Fisher & Lauraine G. Chestnut & Daniel M. Violette, 1989. "The value of reducing risks of death: A note on new evidence," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 88-100.
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