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Automobile Seatbelt Usage and the Value of Statistical Life

Author

Listed:
  • Jahn K. Hakes

    () (Department of Economics & Management, Albion College)

  • W. Kip Viscusi

    () (Vanderbilt Law School)

Abstract

This article uses several within-sample tests to assess whether current seatbelt usage decisions are consistent with the stated preferences of survey respondents. The expressed survey values of statistical life are positively associated with the probability of seatbelt usage and are not statistically different from the values of statistical life implied by seatbelt usage decisions, which are in the $1.9 million to $8.4 million range. Seatbelt usage also varies in the expected manner with individual measures of heterogeneous attitudes toward risk, such as smoking status and education. Our evidence on seatbelt usage supports the view that consumers consistently balance expected safety benefits against the time and discomfort costs of seatbelt use.

Suggested Citation

  • Jahn K. Hakes & W. Kip Viscusi, 2007. "Automobile Seatbelt Usage and the Value of Statistical Life," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 659-676, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:73:3:y:2007:p:659-676
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. W. Viscusi, 2008. "How to value a life," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 32(4), pages 311-323, October.
    3. Andersson, Henrik, 2013. "Consistency in preferences for road safety: An analysis of precautionary and stated behavior," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 41-49.
    4. Thomas DeLeire & Shakeeb Khan & Christopher Timmins, 2013. "Roy Model Sorting And Nonrandom Selection In The Valuation Of A Statistical Life," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54(1), pages 279-306, February.
    5. Steimetz, Seiji S.C., 2008. "Defensive driving and the external costs of accidents and travel delays," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 703-724, November.
    6. Sobieralski, Joseph B., 2013. "The cost of general aviation accidents in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 19-27.
    7. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2008. "Predicting health behaviors with an experimental measure of risk preference," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1260-1274, September.
    8. W. Viscusi, 2009. "Valuing risks of death from terrorism and natural disasters," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 191-213, June.
    9. Galizzi Matteo M. & Miraldo Marisa, 2017. "Are You What You Eat? Healthy Behaviour and Risk Preferences," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, February.
    10. Mikael Svensson, 2009. "Precautionary behavior and willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction: Searching for the expected relationship," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 65-85, August.
    11. Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten I. & Rutström, E. Elisabet, 2010. "Individual discount rates and smoking: Evidence from a field experiment in Denmark," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 708-717, September.
    12. Thijs Dekker & Roy Brouwer & Marjan Hofkes & Klaus Moeltner, 2011. "The Effect of Risk Context on the Value of a Statistical Life: a Bayesian Meta-model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(4), pages 597-624, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K13 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Tort Law and Product Liability; Forensic Economics
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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