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Evaluating human life using court decisions on damages for pain and suffering

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  • Leiter, Andrea M.

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck)

  • Thöni, Magdalena

    ()
    (Department for Human and Economic Sciences, University of Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology (UMIT))

  • Winner, Hannes

    ()
    (University of Salzburg)

Abstract

This paper provides a framework to evaluate human life based on court decisions on damages for pain and suffering. Using judgements from Germany and Austria over the last 25 years, we calculate an average Value of Damages for Pain and Suffering (VDPS) of about EUR 1.79 millions, with a minimum (maximum) of around EUR 0.67 (4.62) millions. These values are broadly in line with the ones from previous studies. However, our approach also allows to calculate the value of body parts and body functions, which might be of interest if information on the benefit of an individual’s change in life quality is not (entirely) available (e.g., decisions to provide specific health services).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Salzburg in its series Working Papers in Economics and Finance with number 2010-11.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 15 Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:sbgwpe:2010_011

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Keywords: Value of life; quality adjusted life years; value of body parts; tort law; pain and suffering;

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  1. Jones-Lee, Michael W, 1974. "The Value of Changes in the Probability of Death or Injury," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 835-49, July/Aug..
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  12. Weiss, P. & Maier, G. & Gerking, S.D., 1986. "The economic evaluation of job safety: A methodological survey and some estimates for Austria," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4742810, Tilburg University.
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Cited by:
  1. Verhoest, Koen & Petersen, Ole Helby & Scherrer, Walter & Murwantara Soecipto, Raden, 2014. "Policy commitment, legal and regulatory framework, and institutional support for PPP in international comparison: Indexing countries’ readiness for taking up PPP," Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014-3, University of Salzburg.
  2. Benjamin Furlan & Harald Oberhofer & Hannes Winner, 2014. "A Note on Merger and Acquisition Evaluation," WIFO Working Papers 462, WIFO.
  3. Harald Oberhofer & Matthias Stöckl & Hannes Winner, 2012. "The Wage Premium of Globalisation: Evidence from European Mergers and Acquisitions," WIFO Working Papers 416, WIFO.
  4. Rathner, Sebastian, 2013. "The Relative Performance of Socially Responsible Investment Funds. New Evidence from Austria," Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2013-1, University of Salzburg.
  5. Rathner, Sebastian, 2012. "The Performance of Socially Responsible Investment Funds: A Meta-Analysis," Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2012-3, University of Salzburg.

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