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The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World

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  • W. Kip Viscusi
  • Joseph E. Aldy

Abstract

A substantial literature over the past thirty years has evaluated tradeoffs between money and fatality risks. These values in turn serve as estimates of the value of a statistical life. This article reviews more than 60 studies of mortality risk premiums from ten countries and approximately 40 studies that present estimates of injury risk premiums. This critical review examines a variety of econometric issues, the role of unionization in risk premiums, and the effects of age on the value of a statistical life. Our meta-analysis indicates an income elasticity of the value of a statistical life from about 0.5 to 0.6. The paper also presents a detailed discussion of policy applications of these value of a statistical life estimates and related issues, including risk-risk analysis.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9487.

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Date of creation: Feb 2003
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Publication status: published as Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9487

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  1. Downturns and life expectancy
    by Crampton in Offsetting Behaviour on 2009-10-03 09:05:00
  2. Self Selection and Diverse Views Over Sea Level Rise in North Carolina
    by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-06-23 17:58:00

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  1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Value of Life
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