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The value of a statistical life: A meta-analysis with a mixed effects regression model

  • Bellavance, Franois
  • Dionne, Georges
  • Lebeau, Martin

The value of a statistical life (VSL) is a very controversial topic, but one which is essential to the optimization of governmental decisions. We see a great variability in the values obtained from different studies. The source of this variability needs to be understood, in order to offer public decision-makers better guidance in choosing a value and to set clearer guidelines for future research on the topic. This article presents a meta-analysis based on 39 observations obtained from 37 studies (from nine different countries) which all use a hedonic wage method to calculate the VSL. Our meta-analysis is innovative in that it is the first to use the mixed effects regression model [Raudenbush, S.W., 1994. Random effects models. In: Cooper, H., Hedges, L.V. (Eds.), The Handbook of Research Synthesis. Russel Sage Foundation, New York] to analyze studies on the value of a statistical life. We conclude that the variability found in the values studied stems in large part from differences in methodologies.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 444-464

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:28:y:2009:i:2:p:444-464
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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