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Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life

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  • Antoine Bommier
  • Bertrand Villeneuve

Abstract

The standard literature on the value of life relies on Yaari’s (1965) model, which includes an implicit assumption of risk neutrality with respect to life duration. To overpass this limitation, we extend the theory to a simple variety of preferences which are not necessarily additively separable. The enlargement we propose is relevant for the evaluation of life-saving programs: current practice, we estimate, puts too little weight on mortality risk reduction of the young. Our correction exceeds in magnitude that introduced by the switch from the notion of number of lives saved to the notion of years of life saved.
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Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Bommier & Bertrand Villeneuve, 2012. "Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(1), pages 77-104, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jrinsu:v:79:y:2012:i:1:p:77-104
    DOI: j.1539-6975.2010.01390.x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1539-6975.2010.01390.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Frank N. Caliendo & Aspen Gorry & Sita Slavov, 2017. "Survival Ambiguity and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 23648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Péter Hudomiet & Robert J. Willis, 2013. "Estimating Second Order Probability Beliefs from Subjective Survival Data," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 152-170, June.
    3. Antoine Bommier, 2005. "Life-Cycle Theory for Human Beings," Working Papers hal-00441890, HAL.
    4. repec:oup:restud:v:84:y:2017:i:4:p:1472-1509. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2004. "EU Merger Control in Differentiated Product Industries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1312, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Delprat, G. & Leroux, M.-L. & Michaud, P.-C., 2016. "Evidence on individual preferences for longevity risk," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 160-179, April.
    7. Huaxiong Huang & Moshe A. Milevsky & Thomas S. Salisbury, 2012. "Optimal retirement consumption with a stochastic force of mortality," Papers 1205.2295, arXiv.org.
    8. 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.
    9. Scott Pataya & Liang Daan, 2016. "What is the Economics of Wind Hazard Mitigation?," Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 25-29, June.
    10. Antoine Bommier, 2010. "Portfolio Choice under Uncertain Lifetime," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 57-73, February.
    11. James Hammitt, 2013. "Admissible utility functions for health, longevity, and wealth: integrating monetary and life-year measures," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 311-325, December.
    12. Strand, Jon, 2006. "Valuation of environmental improvements in continuous time with mortality and morbidity effects," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 229-241, August.
    13. Antoine Bommier, 2006. "Mortality, Time Preference and Life-Cycle Models," Working Papers hal-00441888, HAL.
    14. Huang, Huaxiong & Milevsky, Moshe A. & Salisbury, Thomas S., 2012. "Optimal retirement consumption with a stochastic force of mortality," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 282-291.
    15. Antoine Bommier, 2008. "Rational Impatience ?," Working Papers hal-00441880, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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