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

Author

Listed:
  • 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

    as
    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.
    2. W. Viscusi, 2010. "The heterogeneity of the value of statistical life: Introduction and overview," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, February.
    3. 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.
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    11. 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, June.
    12. 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.
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    14. 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.
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    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, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. W. Kip Viscusi, 2015. "The Role of Publication Selection Bias in Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-52, Winter.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:wly:econjl:v::y:2017:i:605:p:f236-f265 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:637-653 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income elasticity; Value of statistical life; Meta-regression analysis; Selectivity bias;

    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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