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Mortality Effects of Regulatory Costs and Policy Evaluation Criteria

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  • W. Kip Viscusi

Abstract

Risk regulations directly reduce risks, but they may produce offsetting risk increases. Regulated risks generate a substitution effect, as individuals' risk-averting actions will diminish. Recognition of these effects alters benefit-cost criteria and the value-of-life estimates pertinent to policy analysis. Particularly expensive risk regulation may be counterproductive. The expenditure level that will lead to the loss of one statistical life equals the value of life divided by the marginal propensity to spend on health. Regulations with a cost of $30 million to $70 million per life saved will, on balance, have a net adverse effect on mortality because of these linkages.

Suggested Citation

  • W. Kip Viscusi, 1994. "Mortality Effects of Regulatory Costs and Policy Evaluation Criteria," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 94-109, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:25:y:1994:i:spring:p:94-109
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2017. "Social insurance with competitive insurance markets and risk misperception," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 138-147.
    3. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. 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.
    5. Marquez, Pablo, 2006. "Cost Benefit Analysis, Value Of A Statistical Life And Culture: Challenges For Risk Regulation," MPRA Paper 2632, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2007.
    6. 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.
    7. Viscusi, W. Kip & Hersch, Joni, 2008. "The mortality cost to smokers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 943-958, July.
    8. Cremer, Helmuth & Roeder, Kerstin, 2013. "Long-term care policy, myopia and redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 33-43.
    9. Li, Hongbin & Meng, Lingsheng & Pan, Wenqing, 2011. "The human cost of China's industrial growth," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 373-382, September.
    10. Louis Kaplow, 2005. "The Value of a Statistical Life and the Coefficient of Relative Risk Aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 23-34, July.
    11. Mary Riddel & W. Shaw, 2006. "A theoretically-consistent empirical model of non-expected utility: An application to nuclear-waste transport," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 131-150, March.
    12. 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.
    13. Kuchler, Fred & Golan, Elise H., 1999. "Assigning Values To Life: Comparing Methods For Valuing Health Risks," Agricultural Economics Reports 34037, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    14. Thompson Fred & Rizova Polly, 2015. "How Government Creates Value?," Economic Themes, Sciendo, vol. 53(4), pages 449-466, December.
    15. 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.
    16. Thomas J. Kniesner & John D. Leeth, 2004. "Data Mining Mining Data: MSHA Enforcement Efforts, Underground Coal Mine Safety, and New Health Policy Implications," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 83-111, September.
    17. Bradley Eeing & Jamie Brown Kruse, 2006. "Valuing self-protection: income and certification effects for safe rooms," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(10), pages 1057-1068.
    18. Riddel, Mary C. & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2006. "A Theoretically-Consistent Empirical Non-Expected Utility Model of Ambiguity: Nuclear Waste Mortality Risk and Yucca Mountain," Pre-Prints 23964, Texas A&M University, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    19. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2005. "Business cycles and mortality: results from Swedish microdata," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 205-218, January.
    20. repec:clg:wpaper:2011-02 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Leiter, Andrea M. & Rheinberger, Christoph M., 2016. "Risky sports and the value of safety information," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 328-345.
    22. Riddel, Mary, 2011. "Uncertainty and measurement error in welfare models for risk changes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 341-354, May.

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