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On the Definition and Age-Dependency of the Value of a Statistical Life

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  • Johansson, Per-Olov

Abstract

The value of preventing a fatality or (saving) a statistical life is an important question in health economics as well as environmental economics. This paper adds new insights to several of the issues discussed in the literature. It is shown that the conventional way of measuring the value of a statistical life yields a biased estimate, in general. The major exception is the case where the estimate can be based on an infinitely short drop in the hazard rate. This is so in both life cycle models with and without actuarially fair annuities. Moreover, the claim that there are strong theoretical reasons for believing that the value of statistical life declines with age is shown to be wrong. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Johansson, Per-Olov, 2002. "On the Definition and Age-Dependency of the Value of a Statistical Life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 251-263, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:25:y:2002:i:3:p:251-63
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2008. "Are some lives more valuable? An ethical preferences approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 739-752, May.
    2. Antoine Bommier & Bertrand Villeneuve, 2012. "Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(1), pages 77-104, March.
    3. Antoine Bommier, 2005. "Life-Cycle Theory for Human Beings," Working Papers hal-00441890, HAL.
    4. Rheinberger, Christoph M. & Hammitt, James K., 2014. "The welfare value of FDA's mercury-in-fish advisory: A dynamic reanalysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 113-122.
    5. Andrea Leiter, 2011. "Age effects in monetary valuation of reduced mortality risks: the relevance of age-specific hazard rates," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 12(4), pages 331-344, August.
    6. Ryan Edwards, 2013. "The cost of uncertain life span," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1485-1522, October.
    7. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Joseph E. Aldy & Seamus J. Smyth, 2014. "Heterogeneity in the Value of Life," NBER Working Papers 20206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Joseph E. Aldy & W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "Age Variations in Workers' Value of Statistical Life," NBER Working Papers 10199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Christoph Rheinberger, 2011. "A Mixed Logit Approach to Study Preferences for Safety on Alpine Roads," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(1), pages 121-146, May.
    11. Kniesner Thomas J & Viscusi W. Kip & Ziliak James P, 2006. "Life-Cycle Consumption and the Age-Adjusted Value of Life," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, January.
    12. Kuhn, Michael & Frankovic, Ivan & Wrzaczek, Stefan, 2017. "Medical Progress, Demand for Health Care, and Economic Performance," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168249, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Henrik Andersson & James Hammitt & Gunnar Lindberg & Kristian Sundström, 2013. "Willingness to Pay and Sensitivity to Time Framing: A Theoretical Analysis and an Application on Car Safety," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(3), pages 437-456, November.
    14. Antoine Bommier & François Grand, 2014. "Too risk averse to purchase insurance?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 135-166, April.
    15. Bleichrodt, Han & Eeckhoudt, Louis, 2006. "Survival risks, intertemporal consumption, and insurance: The case of distorted probabilities," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 335-346, April.
    16. Kuhn, Michael & Wrzaczek, Stefan & Prskawetz, Alexia & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2015. "Optimal choice of health and retirement in a life-cycle model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PA), pages 186-212.
    17. 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.
    18. Kip Viscusi, W. & Aldy, Joseph E., 2007. "Labor market estimates of the senior discount for the value of statistical life," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 377-392, May.
    19. Myers, Robert J., 2006. "On the costs of food price fluctuations in low-income countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 288-301, August.
    20. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4812 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Kuhn, Michael & Wrzaczek, Stefan & Prskawetz, Alexia & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2011. "Externalities in a life cycle model with endogenous survival," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 627-641.
    22. Strand, Jon, 2006. "Valuation of environmental improvements in continuous time with mortality and morbidity effects," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 229-241, August.
    23. Jaldell Henrik, 2013. "Cost-benefit analyses of sprinklers in nursing homes for elderly," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 209-235, August.

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