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Publication selection and the income elasticity of the value of a statistical life

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  • Doucouliagos, Hristos
  • Stanley, T.D.
  • Viscusi, W. Kip

Abstract

Estimates of the value of a statistical life (VSL) establish the price government agencies use to value fatality risks. Transferring these valuations to other populations often utilizes the income elasticity of the VSL, which typically draw on estimates from meta-analyses. Using a data set consisting of 101 estimates of the income elasticity of VSL from 14 previously reported meta-analyses, we find that after accounting for potential publication bias the income elasticity of value of a statistical life is clearly and robustly inelastic, with a value of approximately 0.25–0.63. There is also clear evidence of the importance of controlling for levels of risk, differential publication selection bias, and the greater income sensitivity of VSL from stated preference surveys.

Suggested Citation

  • Doucouliagos, Hristos & Stanley, T.D. & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2014. "Publication selection and the income elasticity of the value of a statistical life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 67-75.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:67-75
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.10.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nazila Alinaghi & W. Robert Reed, 2016. "Meta-Analysis and Publication Bias: How Well Does the FAT-PET-PEESE Procedure Work?," Working Papers in Economics 16/26, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    2. Fan, Maoyong & He, Guojun & Zhou, Maigeng, 2020. "The winter choke: Coal-Fired heating, air pollution, and mortality in China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    3. W. Kip Viscusi, 2015. "The Role of Publication Selection Bias in Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life," American Journal of Health Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-52, Winter.
    4. repec:wly:econjl:v::y:2017:i:605:p:f236-f265 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. W. Kip Viscusi, 2020. "Pricing the global health risks of the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 101-128, October.
    6. Gentry, Elissa Philip & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2016. "The fatality and morbidity components of the value of statistical life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 90-99.
    7. Stephan B. Bruns, 2017. "Meta-Regression Models and Observational Research," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(5), pages 637-653, October.
    8. John P. A. Ioannidis & T. D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2017. "The Power of Bias in Economics Research," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(605), pages 236-265, October.
    9. N. Witvorapong & T. Komonpaisarn, 2020. "The Value of a Statistical Life in Thailand: Evidence from the Labour Market," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 491-518, September.
    10. Jerome Geyer-Klingeberg & Markus Hang & Matthias Walter & Andreas Rathgeber, 2018. "Do stock markets react to soccer games? A meta-regression analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(19), pages 2171-2189, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income elasticity; Value of statistical life; Meta-regression analysis; Selectivity bias;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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    1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

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