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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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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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