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Immigrant Status and the Value of Statistical Life

Author

Listed:
  • Joni Hersch
  • W. Kip Viscusi

Abstract

Using data from the Current Population Survey and the New Immigrant Survey, this paper examines the common perception that immigrants are concentrated in high-risk jobs for which they receive little wage compensation. Compared to native U.S. workers, non-Mexican immigrants are not at higher risk and have substantial values of statistical life. However, Mexican immigrants incur much higher fatality risks than native U.S. workers and do not receive wage compensation for these risks. Mexican immigrants who do not understand English fare especially poorly. The evidence is consistent with Mexican immigrants facing different wage offer curves.

Suggested Citation

  • Joni Hersch & W. Kip Viscusi, 2010. "Immigrant Status and the Value of Statistical Life," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:45:y:2010:iii:1:p749-771
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Leeth, John D & Ruser, John, 2003. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Fatal and Nonfatal Injury Risk by Gender and Race," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 257-277, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Black, Dan A & Kniesner, Thomas J, 2003. "On the Measurement of Job Risk in Hedonic Wage Models," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 205-220, December.
    4. 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.
    5. W. Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch, 2001. "Cigarette Smokers As Job Risk Takers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 269-280, May.
    6. Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2009. "Do immigrants work in riskier jobs?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(3), pages 535-551, August.
    7. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jasso, Guillermina & Massey, Douglas S. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Smith, James P., 2008. "From Illegal to Legal: Estimating Previous Illegal Experience among New Legal Immigrants to the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3441, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Solé, Meritxell & Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Rodríguez, Marisol, 2013. "Disparities in work, risk and health between immigrants and native-born Spaniards," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 179-187.
    2. Jonathan M. Lee & Laura O. Taylor, 2014. "Randomized Safety Inspections And Risk Exposure On The Job: Quasi-Experimental Estimates Of The Value Of A Statistical Life," Working Papers 14-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Gentry, Elissa Philip & Viscusi, W. Kip, 2016. "The fatality and morbidity components of the value of statistical life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 90-99.
    4. Madeline Zavodny, 2015. "Do Immigrants Work in Worse Jobs than U.S. Natives? Evidence from California," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 276-293, April.
    5. Akbar Marvasti, 2010. "Occupational Safety and English Language Proficiency," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 332-347, December.
    6. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2014:i:2:p:19116209 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. W. Viscusi, 2010. "The heterogeneity of the value of statistical life: Introduction and overview," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, February.
    8. Osea Giuntella, 2014. "Immigration and Job Disamenities," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(2), pages 20-26, 07.
    9. Pia M. Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny, 2013. "Immigrants in risky occupations," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, chapter 11, pages 214-226 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. repec:kap:jcopol:v:40:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10603-017-9347-y is not listed on IDEAS
    11. W. Viscusi & Elissa Gentry, 2015. "The value of a statistical life for transportation regulations: A test of the benefits transfer methodology," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 53-77, August.
    12. W. Kip Viscusi, 2015. "The heterogeneity of the value of statistical life: evidence and policy implications," Chapters,in: Benefit–Cost Analyses for Security Policies, chapter 4, pages 78-116 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. D’Ambrosio, Anna & Leombruni, Roberto & Razzolini, Tiziano, 2017. "Native-Migrant Differences in Trading Off Wages and Workplace Safety," IZA Discussion Papers 10523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Osea Giuntella, 2014. "Do immigrants improve the health of native workers?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 102-102.

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