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The Role of Publication Selection Bias in Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life

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  • W. Kip Viscusi

    () (Vanderbilt University Law School)

Abstract

Meta-regression estimates of the value of a statistical life (VSL) controlling for publication selection bias often yield bias-corrected estimates of VSL that are substantially below the mean VSL estimates. Labor market studies using the more recent Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) data are subject to less measurement error and also yield higher bias-corrected estimates than do studies based on earlier fatality rate measures. These results are borne out by the findings for a large sample of all VSL estimates based on labor market studies using CFOI data and for four meta-analysis data sets consisting of the authors’ best estimates of VSL. The confidence intervals of the publication bias-corrected estimates of VSL based on the CFOI data include the values that are currently used by government agencies, which are in line with the most precisely estimated values in the literature. © 2015 American Society of Health Economists and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:amjhec:v:1:y:2015:i:1:p:27-52
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph E. Aldy & W. Kip Viscusi, 2008. "Adjusting the Value of a Statistical Life for Age and Cohort Effects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 573-581, August.
    2. Evans, Mary F. & Schaur, Georg, 2010. "A quantile estimation approach to identify income and age variation in the value of a statistical life," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 260-270, May.
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    4. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi, 2005. "Value of a Statistical Life: Relative Position vs. Relative Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 142-146, May.
    5. Sandy, Robert & Elliott, Robert F, 1996. "Unions and Risk: Their Impact on the Level of Compensation for Fatal Risk," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 291-309, May.
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    7. 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.
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    12. Scotton, Carol R., 2013. "New risk rates, inter-industry differentials and the magnitude of VSL estimates," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 39-80, March.
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    21. 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.
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    26. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Garret Christensen & Edward Miguel, 2018. "Transparency, Reproducibility, and the Credibility of Economics Research," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 920-980, September.
    2. 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.
    3. Chris Doucouliagos, 2016. "Meta-regression analysis: Producing credible estimates from diverse evidence," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 320-320, November.
    4. repec:kap:jrisku:v:54:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9255-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:bla:ecorec:v:94:y:2018:i:s1:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    VSL; Value of a statistical life; CFOI; labor market;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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