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Compensating Wage Differentials for Workplace Accidents: Evidence for Union and Nonunion Workers in the UK


  • Siebert, W Stanley
  • Wei, X


This article measures compensating wage differentials for job risks for union and nonunion workers. Job risk is made endogenous to avoid a selectivity bias arising if more able people choose safer jobs. We find that this adjustment has a considerable effect on the union group, raising their fatal risk premium above that of nonunion workers. This implies that there is more variation in unmeasured ability in the unionized group, and that job risk is an inferior good. The fact that unionized workers are also found in safer jobs might therefore be attributable to their greater wealth, rather than to greater "knowledge" in the unionized plant. The estimated statistical value of a life is 8.8 million pounds in 1990 prices for union workers, with nonunion workers about 20 percent lower. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Siebert, W Stanley & Wei, X, 1994. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Workplace Accidents: Evidence for Union and Nonunion Workers in the UK," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 61-76, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:9:y:1994:i:1:p:61-76

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carbone, Enrica & Hey, John D, 2000. "Which Error Story Is Best?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 161-176, March.
    2. Chew, Soo Hong, 1983. "A Generalization of the Quasilinear Mean with Applications to the Measurement of Income Inequality and Decision Theory Resolving the Allais Paradox," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1065-1092, July.
    3. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    4. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
    5. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-1289, November.
    6. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
    7. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-686, May.
    8. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. "Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
    9. Levy-Garboua, L., 1999. "Expected Utility and Cognitive Consistency," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 1999.104, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    10. Wakker, Peter & Erev, Ido & Weber, Elke U, 1994. "Comonotonic Independence: The Critical Test between Classical and Rank-Dependent Utility Theories," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 195-230, December.
    11. Mohammed Abdellaoui, 2000. "Parameter-Free Elicitation of Utility and Probability Weighting Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(11), pages 1497-1512, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. G. Arabsheibani & A. Marin, 2000. "Stability of Estimates of the Compensation for Danger," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 247-269, May.
    2. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2004. "Changes in the Value of Life, 1940--1980," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 159-180, September.
    3. G. Dionne & P. Lanoie, 2002. "How to Make a Public Choice about the Value of a Statistical Life : The Case of Road Safety," THEMA Working Papers 2002-14, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    4. Andr'es Riquelme & Marcela Parada, 2016. "The Value of A Statistical Life in Absence of Panel Data: What can we do?," Papers 1603.00568,
    5. Marcela Parada-Contzen & Andrés Riquelme-Won & Felipe Vasquez-Lavin, 2013. "The value of a statistical life in Chile," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 1073-1087, December.
    6. Askildsen, Jan Erik & Jirjahn, Uwe & Smith, Stephen C., 2006. "Works councils and environmental investment: Theory and evidence from German panel data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 346-372, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Beat Hintermann & Anna Alberini & Anil Markandya, 2010. "Estimating the value of safety with labour market data: are the results trustworthy?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(9), pages 1085-1100.
    9. Abdelaziz Benkhalifa & Paul Lanoie & Mohamed Ayadi, 2013. "Estimated hedonic wage function and value of life in an African country," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(4), pages 3023-3031.
    10. Dionne, Georges & Lebeau, Martin, 2010. "Le calcul de la valeur statistique d’une vie humaine," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(4), pages 487-530, décembre.
    11. Konstantinos, Pouliakas & Ioannis, Theodossiou, 2010. "An Inquiry Into the Theory, Causes and Consequences of Monitoring Indicators of Health and Safety At Work," MPRA Paper 20336, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. 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.
    13. Robert Sandy & Robert F. Elliott, 2005. "Long-term Illness and Wages: The Impact of the Risk of Occupationally Related Long-term Illness on Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
    14. Andrea Baranzini & Giovanni Ferro Luzzi, 2001. "The Economic Value of Risks to Life: Evidence from the Swiss Labour Market," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 137(II), pages 149-170, June.
    15. Anna Alberini, 2017. "Measuring the economic value of the effects of chemicals on ecological systems and human health," OECD Environment Working Papers 116, OECD Publishing.
    16. 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.
    17. repec:kap:jrisku:v:54:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9255-1 is not listed on IDEAS

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