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

Listed author(s):
  • Doucouliagos, Hristos
  • Stanley, T.D.
  • Viscusi, W. Kip

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.

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

Volume (Year): 33 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 67-75

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:33:y:2014:i:c:p:67-75
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.10.010
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Evans, Mary F. & Schaur, Georg, 2010. "A quantile estimation approach to identify income and age variation in the value of a statistical life," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 260-270, May.
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  4. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-243, May.
  5. T.D. Stanley, 2006. "Meta-Regression Methods for Detecting and Estimating Empirical Effects in the Presence of Publication Selection," Economics Series 2006_20, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  6. Stanley, T. D. & Jarrell, Stephen B. & Doucouliagos, Hristos, 2010. "Could It Be Better to Discard 90% of the Data? A Statistical Paradox," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 64(1), pages 70-77.
  7. Hammitt James K. & Robinson Lisa A, 2011. "The Income Elasticity of the Value per Statistical Life: Transferring Estimates between High and Low Income Populations," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-29, January.
  8. Mary Evans & V. Smith, 2010. "Measuring how risk tradeoffs adjust with income," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 33-55, February.
  9. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
  10. T. D. Stanley, 2005. "Beyond Publication Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 309-345, 07.
  11. Bellavance, Franois & Dionne, Georges & Lebeau, Martin, 2009. "The value of a statistical life: A meta-analysis with a mixed effects regression model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 444-464, March.
  12. Louis Kaplow, 2005. "The Value of a Statistical Life and the Coefficient of Relative Risk Aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 23-34, July.
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  15. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Hristos Doucouliagos & T. D. Stanley, 2009. "Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(2), pages 406-428, 06.
  17. Viscusi, W. Kip, 2011. "Policy Challenges of the Heterogeneity of the Value of Statistical Life," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 6(2), pages 99-172, July.
  18. W. Kip Viscusi, 2012. "What'S To Know? Puzzles In The Literature On The Value Of Statistical Life," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(5), pages 763-768, December.
  19. T.D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos & Margaret Giles & Jost H. Heckemeyer & Robert J. Johnston & Patrice Laroche & Jon P. Nelson & Martin Paldam & Jacques Poot & Geoff Pugh & Randall S. Rosenberger & , 2013. "Meta-Analysis Of Economics Research Reporting Guidelines," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 390-394, 04.
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