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New Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life Using Air Bag Regulations as a Quasi-Experiment

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Author Info

  • Rohlfs, Chris

    ()
    (Morgan Stanley)

  • Sullivan, Ryan

    ()
    (Naval Postgraduate School)

  • Kniesner, Thomas J.

    ()
    (Syracuse University)

Abstract

Due to Federal regulations, automobile air bag availability was a model-specific discontinuous function of model year for used vehicles in the 1990s and early 2000s. We use these discontinuities and the gradual increase in the supply of air bags to trace out the demand curve for air bags and the implied distribution of the Value of a Statistical Life (VSL) across consumers. While imprecise, our preferred point estimates indicate that the median VSL is between $7 million and $13 million, but that a sizable portion of consumers placed negative values on air bags, probably due to distrust of the technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6994.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6994

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Related research

Keywords: value of statistical life; VSL; airbags; regression discontinuity design; quasi-experiment;

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References

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  1. Orley Ashenfelter & Michael Greenstone, 2004. "Estimating the Value of a Statistical Life: The Importance of Omitted Variables and Publication Bias," NBER Working Papers 10401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dreyfus, Mark K & Viscusi, W Kip, 1995. "Rates of Time Preference and Consumer Valuations of Automobile Safety and Fuel Efficiency," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(1), pages 79-105, April.
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  7. Corso, Phaedra S & Hammitt, James K & Graham, John D, 2001. " Valuing Mortality-Risk Reduction: Using Visual Aids to Improve the Validity of Contingent Valuation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 165-84, September.
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  16. Viscusi, W Kip, 2003. " Racial Differences in Labor Market Values of a Statistical Life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 239-56, December.
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  18. 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.
  19. Leeth, John D & Ruser, John, 2003. " Compensating Wage Differentials for Fatal and Nonfatal Injury Risk by Gender and Race," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 257-77, December.
  20. Janusz R. Mrozek & Laura O. Taylor, 2002. "What determines the value of life? a meta-analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 253-270.
  21. Orley Ashenfelter & Michael Greenstone, 2004. "Estimating the Value of a Statistical Life: The Importance of Omitted Variables and Publication Bias," Working Papers 858, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  22. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Rohlfs, Chris & Sullivan, Ryan & Kniesner, Thomas J., 2013. "Hedonic Estimation under Very General Conditions Using Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs," IZA Discussion Papers 7554, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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