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Pinning Down the Value of Statistical Life

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Author Info

  • Kniesner, Thomas J.

    ()
    (Syracuse University)

  • Viscusi, W. Kip

    ()
    (Vanderbilt University)

  • Woock, Christopher

    ()
    (The Conference Board)

  • Ziliak, James P.

    ()
    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

Our research addresses fundamental long-standing concerns in the compensating wage differentials literature and its public policy implications: the econometric properties of estimates of the value of statistical life (VSL) and the wide range of such estimates from about $0.5 million to about $21 million. We address most of the prominent econometric issues by applying panel data, a new and more accurate fatality risk measure, and systematic selection of panel estimator in our research. Controlling for measurement error, endogeneity, individual heterogeneity, and state dependence yields both a reasonable average level and narrow range for the estimated value of a statistical life of about $5.5–$7.5 million.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3107.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2012, 94 (1) , 74-87
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3107

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Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

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Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
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Related research

Keywords: random effects; fixed effects; panel data; VSL; PSID;

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References

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  1. Thomas J. Kniesner & James P. Ziliak & W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "Life-Cycle Consumption and the Age-Adjusted Value of Life," NBER Working Papers 10266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ekeland, Ivar & Heckman, James J. & Nesheim, Lars, 2003. "Identification and Estimation of Hedonic Models," IZA Discussion Papers 853, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ashenfelter, Orley & Greenstone, Michael, 2004. "Estimating the Value of a Statistical Life: The Importance of Omitted Variables and Publication Bias," IZA Discussion Papers 1037, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Arellano, Manuel, 1989. "A note on the Anderson-Hsiao estimator for panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 337-341, December.
  5. Kosec, Katrina & Wallsten, Scott, 2005. "The Economic Costs of the War in Iraq," Working paper 42, Regulation2point0.
  6. Gary Solon, 1986. "Bias in Longitudinal Estimation of Wage Gaps," NBER Technical Working Papers 0058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
  8. W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "The Value of Life: Estimates with Risks by Occupation and Industry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(1), pages 29-48, January.
  9. Orley Ashenfelter & Michael Greenstone, 2002. "Using Mandated Speed Limits to Measure the Value of a Statistical Life," Working Papers 842, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  10. Hannes Spengler & Sandra Schaffner, 2007. "Using Job Changes to Evaluate the Bias of the Value of a Statistical Life," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 713, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Orley Ashenfelter, 2006. "Measuring the Value of a Statistical Life: Problems and Prospects," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C10-C23, 03.
  12. Jason F. Shogren & Tommy Stamland, 2002. "Skill and the Value of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1168-1197, October.
  13. Dan A. Black & Thomas K. Kniesner, 2003. "On the Measurement of Job Risk in Hedonic Wage Models," NCEE Working Paper Series 200306, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2003.
  14. Kevin Lang & Sumon Majumdar, 2004. "The Pricing Of Job Characteristics When Markets Do Not Clear: Theory And Policy Implications," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1111-1128, November.
  15. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  16. Hwang, Hae-shin & Reed, W Robert & Hubbard, Carlton, 1992. "Compensating Wage Differentials and Unobserved Productivity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 835-58, August.
  17. Kosec, Katrina & Wallsten, Scott, 2005. "The Economic Costs of the War in Iraq," Working paper 334, Regulation2point0.
  18. Lillard, Lee A & Weiss, Yoram, 1979. "Components of Variation in Panel Earnings Data: American Scientists, 1960-70," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 437-54, March.
  19. Michael P. Keane, 1993. "Individual Heterogeneity and Interindustry Wage Differentials," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 134-161.
  20. Abowd, John M & Card, David, 1989. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 411-45, March.
  21. Brown, Charles, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-34, February.
  22. Aldy, Joseph E. & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2003. "The Value of Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Working paper 282, Regulation2point0.
  23. W. Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch, 2001. "Cigarette Smokers As Job Risk Takers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 269-280, May.
  24. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Ziliak, J.P. & Kniesner, T.J., 1996. "The Importance of Sample Attrition in Life Cycle Labor Supply," Discussion Paper 1996-46, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  26. James P. Ziliak & Thomas J. Kniesner, 1998. "The Importance of Sample Attrition in Life Cycle Labor Supply Estimation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 507-530.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hannes Spengler & Sandra Schaffner, 2007. "Using Job Changes to Evaluate the Bias of the Value of a Statistical Life," Ruhr Economic Papers 0014, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Dionne, Georges & Lebeau, Martin, 2010. "Le calcul de la valeur statistique d’une vie humaine," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(4), pages 487-530, décembre.
  3. Bellavance, Franois & Dionne, Georges & Lebeau, Martin, 2009. "The value of a statistical life: A meta-analysis with a mixed effects regression model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 444-464, March.
  4. Schaffner, Sandra & Spengler, Hannes, 2010. "Using job changes to evaluate the bias of value of a statistical life estimates," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 15-27, January.
  5. Naoi, Michio & Seko, Miki & Sumita, Kazuto, 2009. "Earthquake risk and housing prices in Japan: Evidence before and after massive earthquakes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 658-669, November.
  6. Wehn-Jyuan Tsai & Jin-Tan Liu & James Hammitt, 2011. "Aggregation Biases in Estimates of the Value per Statistical Life: Evidence from Longitudinal Matched Worker-Firm Data in Taiwan," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(3), pages 425-443, July.
  7. Hammitt, James & Roman, Henry & Stieb, David & Walsh, Tyra, 2012. "Expert Elicitation of the Value per Statistical Life in an Air Pollution Context," LERNA Working Papers 12.10.367, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
  8. Scotton, Carol R. & Taylor, Laura O., 2011. "Valuing risk reductions: Incorporating risk heterogeneity into a revealed preference framework," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 381-397, May.
  9. Thomas DeLeire & Shakeeb Khan & Christopher Timmins, 2013. "Roy Model Sorting And Nonrandom Selection In The Valuation Of A Statistical Life," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(1), pages 279-306, 02.
  10. Martinez Perez, Jorge Eduardo & Mendez Martinez, Ildefonso, 2008. "¿Qué podemos saber sobre el Valor Estadístico de la Vida en España utilizando datos laborales?," MPRA Paper 11165, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Goucher, Jeremy & Horrace, William C., 2012. "The value of life: Real risks and safety-related productivity in the Himalaya," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 27-32.

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