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Mortality Risk Perceptions: A Bayesian Reassessment

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  • Hakes, Jahn K
  • Viscusi, W Kip

Abstract

This paper uses a Bayesian learning model to assess the respective influence of different risk measurements on mortality risk perceptions. People form risk beliefs using several sources of information, including the actual population mean death risk level the discounted lost life expectancy, and the age-specific hazard rate considered by Benjamin and Dougan (1997). The appropriate criterion for judging the validity of risk perceptions is not the perfect information case, but rather whether people form their risk beliefs in a rational manner given a world of costly and limited risk information. Although the statistical results support the overall conclusion that the learning process is rational, the character of the learning process differs depending on the risk level. Risk-related variables are much better predictors of larger risks than of small risks which reflects the role of information costs and the benefits of learning about larger risks. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • Hakes, Jahn K & Viscusi, W Kip, 1997. "Mortality Risk Perceptions: A Bayesian Reassessment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 135-150, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:15:y:1997:i:2:p:135-50
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    Cited by:

    1. Henrik Andersson & Petter Lundborg, 2007. "Perception of own death risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 67-84, February.
    2. Andersson, Henrik, 2008. "Perception of Own Death Risk: A Reassessment of Road-Traffic Mortality Risk," Working Papers 2008:11, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).
    3. Olivier Armantier, 2006. "Estimates of Own Lethal Risks and Anchoring Effects," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 37-56, January.
    4. Frank Sloan & Lindsey Eldred & Tong Guo & Yanzhi Xu, 2013. "Are people overoptimistic about the effects of heavy drinking?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 93-127, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Rovira, Joan & Viscusi, W. Kip & Antoñanzas, Fernando & Costa, Joan & Hart, Warren & Carvalho, Irineu, 2000. "Smoking Risks in Spain: Part II--Perceptions of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Externalities," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(2-3), pages 187-212, November.
    7. Andrea M. Leiter & Gerald J. Pruckner, 2006. "Proportionality of Willingness to Pay to Small Risk Changes – The Impact of Attitudinal Factors in Scope Tests," Working Papers 2006.90, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Joan Costa-Font & Montserrat Costa-Font, 2011. "Explaining Optimistic Old Age Disability and Longevity Expectations," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 533-544, December.
    9. Adeline Delavande, 2008. "Measuring revisions to subjective expectations," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 43-82, February.
    10. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Trudy Cameron, 2005. "Updating Subjective Risks in the Presence of Conflicting Information: An Application to Climate Change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 63-97, January.
    12. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. repec:gam:jrisks:v:6:y:2018:i:1:p:8-:d:130921 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Georges Dionne & Claude Fluet & Denise Desjardins, 2007. "Predicted risk perception and risk-taking behavior: The case of impaired driving," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 237-264, December.
    15. Andersson, Henrik & Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Perception of Own Death Risk: An Analysis of Road-Traffic and Overall Mortality Risks," Working Papers 2006:1, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).
    16. Bocker, Andreas & Hanf, Claus-Hennig, 2000. "Confidence lost and -- partially -- regained: consumer response to food scares," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 471-485, December.
    17. Hyytinen, Ari & Pajarinen, Mika, 2005. "Why Are All New Entrepreneurs Better Than Average? Evidence from Subjective Failure Rate Expectations," Discussion Papers 987, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    18. Andrea Leiter & Gerald Pruckner, 2009. "Proportionality of Willingness to Pay to Small Changes in Risk: The Impact of Attitudinal Factors in Scope Tests," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(2), pages 169-186, February.
    19. Lin, Wanchuan & Sloan, Frank, 2015. "Risk perceptions and smoking decisions of adult Chinese men," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 60-73.

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