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On the Value of Changes in Life Expectancy: Blips versus Parametric Changes

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  • Johannesson, Magnus
  • Johansson, Per-Olov
  • Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf

Abstract

We estimate the value of a 'blip', i.e. an immediate small reduction, in the hazard rate for a random sample of Swedes. Since the risk reduction is age-independent (2 'extra saved lives' out of 10,000 during the next year), we can examine how the value of a statistical life varies with age. We also show how blip data can be used to obtain a lower bound for the value of a permanent change in an individual's hazard rate. The value of a life exhibits an inverted-U shape with respect to age, peaking at the age of 40, and lies within the $3 to $7 million interval where most reasonable estimates are clustered according to Viscusi's (1992) survey. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1997. "On the Value of Changes in Life Expectancy: Blips versus Parametric Changes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 221-239, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:15:y:1997:i:3:p:221-39
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    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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