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Health-Health Analysis: A New Way to Evaluate Health and Safety Regulation


  • Lutter, Randall
  • Morrall, John F, III


Regulations to promote health and safety that are exceptionally costly relative to the expected health benefits may actually worsen health and safety, since compliance reduces other spending, including private spending on health and safety. Past studies relating income and mortality give estimates of the income loss that induces one death--a value that we call willingness-to-spend (WTS)--to be around $9 to $12 million. Such estimates help identify regulations that do not improve health and safety, and moreover, fail benefit-cost comparisons. WTS is a multiple of the willingness to pay to avert a statistical death. International data yield estimates of WTS and willingness-to-pay in different countries. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Lutter, Randall & Morrall, John F, III, 1994. "Health-Health Analysis: A New Way to Evaluate Health and Safety Regulation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 43-66, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:8:y:1994:i:1:p:43-66

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    Cited by:

    1. Revesz, Richard & Stavins, Robert, 2004. "Environmental Law and Policy," Working Paper Series rwp04-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
    3. Rackwitz, Rüdiger, 2006. "The effect of discounting, different mortality reduction schemes and predictive cohort life tables on risk acceptability criteria," Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Elsevier, vol. 91(4), pages 469-484.
    4. Patrick Hofstetter & Jane C. Bare & James K. Hammitt & Patricia A. Murphy & Glenn E. Rice, 2002. "Tools for Comparative Analysis of Alternatives: Competing or Complementary Perspectives?," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 22(5), pages 833-851, October.
    5. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2000. "Income-related inequality in life-years and quality-adjusted life-years," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 1007-1026, November.
    6. Kopp, Raymond J. & Krupnick, Alan J. & Toman, Michael, 1997. "Cost-Benefit Analysis and Regulatory Reform: An Assessment of the Science and the Art," Discussion Papers 10851, Resources for the Future.
    7. 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.
    8. James Broughel & W. Kip Viscusi, 2021. "The Mortality Cost Of Expenditures," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(1), pages 156-167, January.
    9. Lomborg, Bjorn, 2020. "Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    10. Toman, Michael, 1998. "Sustainable Decision-making: The State of the Art from an Economics Perspective," Discussion Papers 10602, Resources for the Future.
    11. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2006. "Deaths rise in good economic times: Evidence from the OECD," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 298-316, December.
    12. Brian Ashe & Felipe Dimer de Oliveira & John McAneney, 2012. "Investments in Fire Management: Does Saving Lives Cost Lives?," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 89-106.
    13. Scott Farrow, 2012. "Evaluating Central Regulatory Institutions with an Application to the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 12-01, UMBC Department of Economics.
    14. Ruediger Rackwitz, 2004. "Optimal and Acceptable Technical Facilities Involving Risks," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 24(3), pages 675-695, June.
    15. Broughel, James & Viscusi, Kip, 2017. "Death by Regulation: How Regulations Can Increase Mortality Risk," Working Papers 06864, George Mason University, Mercatus Center.
    16. Viscusi W. Kip, 2019. "The Mortality Cost Metric for the Costs of War," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 25(3), pages 1-10, September.
    17. Robert B. Avery & Raphael W. Bostic & Glenn B. Canner, 2003. "Assessing the CRA's Necessity and Efficiency," Working Paper 8606, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
    18. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    19. Piet de Jong, 2012. "The Health Impact of Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Laws," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 32(5), pages 782-790, May.
    20. James K. Hammitt & Eric S. Belsky & Jonathan I. Levy & John D. Graham, 1999. "Residential Building Codes, Affordability, and Health Protection: A Risk‐Tradeoff Approach," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 19(6), pages 1037-1058, December.
    21. W. Kip Viscusi, 1996. "Economic Foundations of the Current Regulatory Reform Efforts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 119-134, Summer.
    22. Kuchler, Fred & Golan, Elise H., 1999. "Assigning Values To Life: Comparing Methods For Valuing Health Risks," Agricultural Economic Reports 34037, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    23. Shamoun, Dima & Williams, Richard & Broughel, James & Calabrese, Edward, 2016. "Regulation under Uncertainty: Use of the Linear No-Threshold Model in Chemical and Radiation Exposure," Working Papers 04174, George Mason University, Mercatus Center.

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