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Racial Differences in Labor Market Values of a Statistical Life


  • Viscusi, W Kip


This article constructs measures of job fatality rates for black and white workers using information on job-related fatalities from 1992-1997. The fatality rates for black employees are somewhat greater than those for whites. Each of these groups receives significant compensating wage differentials for fatality risks, controlling for nonfatal risks and expected workers' compensation benefits. The implicit value of a statistical life is lower for black workers than for whites. These results in conjunction with evidence that blacks receive less annual compensation for fatality risks than do whites imply that black and white workers face different market offer curves that are flatter for blacks than for whites. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Viscusi, W Kip, 2003. "Racial Differences in Labor Market Values of a Statistical Life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 239-256, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:27:y:2003:i:3:p:239-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Joni Hersch & W. Kip Viscusi, 2010. "Immigrant Status and the Value of Statistical Life," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    3. 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.
    4. Joseph E. Aldy & Seamus J. Smyth, 2014. "Heterogeneity in the Value of Life," NBER Working Papers 20206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:kap:jcopol:v:40:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10603-017-9347-y is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Sunstein, Cass R., 2013. "The value of a statistical life: some clarifications and puzzles," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 237-261, August.
    7. 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.
    8. Solé, Meritxell & Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Rodríguez, Marisol, 2013. "Disparities in work, risk and health between immigrants and native-born Spaniards," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 179-187.
    9. W. Viscusi & Elissa Gentry, 2015. "The value of a statistical life for transportation regulations: A test of the benefits transfer methodology," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 53-77, August.
    10. W. Kip Viscusi, 2015. "The heterogeneity of the value of statistical life: evidence and policy implications," Chapters,in: Benefit–Cost Analyses for Security Policies, chapter 4, pages 78-116 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Chris Rohlfs & Ryan Sullivan & Thomas Kniesner, 2015. "New Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life Using Air Bag Regulations as a Quasi-experiment," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 331-359, February.
    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. Ling Li & Shawn Rohlin & Perry Singleton, 2017. "Labor Unions and Occupational Safety: Event-Study Analysis Using Union Elections," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 205, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    14. 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.
    15. Matthew Cole & Robert Elliott & Joanne Lindley, 2009. "Dirty money: Is there a wage premium for working in a pollution intensive industry?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 161-180, October.
    16. van Kippersluis, Hans & Galama, Titus J., 2014. "Wealth and health behavior: Testing the concept of a health cost," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 197-220.
    17. John Leeth & John Ruser, 2006. "Safety segregation: The importance of gender, race, and ethnicity on workplace risk," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 4(2), pages 123-152, August.

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