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The Value of a Statistical Life: A Comparison of Two Approaches


  • Lanoie, Paul
  • Pedro, Carmen
  • Latour, Robert


Using an original data set, this article presents the first effort to compare systematically the values of a statistical life obtained from the two main methodologies existing in the literature - the revealed-preference approach (wage-risk analysis) and the contingent-valuation approach - applied to the same sample of individuals. A survey was conducted in the Montreal area with a questionnaire containing two series of questions: one set of contingent-valuation questions and one set of questions pertaining to the information necessary for performing a wage-risk study. The results show that the values of a statistical life obtained from each method are different from each other. Copyright 1995 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Lanoie, Paul & Pedro, Carmen & Latour, Robert, 1995. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Comparison of Two Approaches," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 235-257, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:10:y:1995:i:3:p:235-57

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    12. V. Kerry Smith & Donald H. Taylor & Frank A. Sloan & F. Reed Johnson & William H. Desvousges, 2001. "Do Smokers Respond To Health Shocks?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 675-687, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. G. Dionne & P. Lanoie, 2002. "How to Make a Public Choice about the Value of a Statistical Life : The Case of Road Safety," THEMA Working Papers 2002-14, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    2. 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.
    3. André de Palma & Néjia Zaouali, 2007. "Monétarisation des externalités de transport : un état de l'art," THEMA Working Papers 2007-08, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    4. Arianne de Blaeij & Daniel van Vuuren, 2001. "Risk Perception of Traffic Participants," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-027/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Beat Hintermann & Anna Alberini & Anil Markandya, 2010. "Estimating the value of safety with labour market data: are the results trustworthy?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(9), pages 1085-1100.
    6. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Glenn C. Blomquist, 2004. "Self-Protection and Averting Behavior, Values of Statistical Lives, and Benefit Cost Analysis of Environmental Policy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 89-110, March.
    8. Baker, Rick & Ruting, Brad, 2014. "Environmental Policy Analysis: A Guide to Non‑Market Valuation," 2014 Conference (58th), February 4-7, 2014, Port Maquarie, Australia 165810, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    9. Anna Alberini, 2004. "Robustness of VSL Values from Contingent Valuation Surveys," Working Papers 2004.135, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. Mikael Svensson, 2009. "Precautionary behavior and willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction: Searching for the expected relationship," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 65-85, August.
    11. 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.
    12. Hammitt, James & Roman, Henry & Stieb, David & Walsh, Tyra, 2012. "Expert Elicitation of the Value per Statistical Life in an Air Pollution Context," LERNA Working Papers 12.10.367, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    13. DREZE , Jacques H. & RUSTICHINI, Aldo, 2000. "State-dependent utility and decision theory," CORE Discussion Papers 2000007, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    14. Arianne de Blaeij & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Piet Rietveld & Erik T. Verhoef, 2000. "The Value of Statistical Life in Road Safety: A Meta-Analysis," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-089/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    15. Thijs Dekker & Roy Brouwer & Marjan Hofkes & Klaus Moeltner, 2011. "The Effect of Risk Context on the Value of a Statistical Life: a Bayesian Meta-model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(4), pages 597-624, August.
    16. Bernie J. O'Brien & Kirsten Gertsen & Andrew R. Willan & A. Faulkner, 2002. "Is there a kink in consumers' threshold value for cost-effectiveness in health care?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 175-180.
    17. Marielle Brunette, 2012. "Do risk communication methods perform to generate rationality?," Working Papers - Cahiers du LEF 2012-01, Laboratoire d'Economie Forestiere, AgroParisTech-INRA.
    18. repec:kap:jrisku:v:54:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9255-1 is not listed on IDEAS

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