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

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  • Leiter, Andrea
  • Thöni, Magdalena
  • Winner, Hannes

Abstract

This paper provides a framework to evaluate human life based on civil 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. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Leiter, Andrea & Thöni, Magdalena & Winner, Hannes, 2012. "Evaluating human life using court decisions on damages for pain and suffering," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 119-128.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:32:y:2012:i:1:p:119-128
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2011.09.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin Furlan & Harald Oberhofer & Hannes Winner, 2016. "A note on merger and acquisition evaluation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 447-455.
    2. 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 2014-3, University of Salzburg.
    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. Sofia Amaral-Garcia, 2015. "Non-economic Damages in Medical Malpractice Appeals: Does the Jurisdiction Make a Difference?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1506, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Rathner, Sebastian, 2012. "The Performance of Socially Responsible Investment Funds: A Meta-Analysis," Working Papers in Economics 2012-3, University of Salzburg.
    6. Rathner, Sebastian, 2013. "The Relative Performance of Socially Responsible Investment Funds. New Evidence from Austria," Working Papers in Economics 2013-1, University of Salzburg.
    7. Loretz, Simon & Oberhofer, Harald, 2014. "When Helping the Small Hurts the Middle: Beer Excise Duties and Market Concentration," Working Papers in Economics 2014-5, University of Salzburg.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pain and suffering; Value of statistical life (VSL); Quality adjusted life years (QALY); Tort law;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics

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