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Roy Model Sorting And Nonrandom Selection In The Valuation Of A Statistical Life

  • Thomas DeLeire
  • Shakeeb Khan
  • Christopher Timmins

Wage-hedonics is used to recover the value of a statistical life by exploiting the fact that workers choosing riskier occupations will be compensated with a higher wage. However, Roy (1951) suggests that observed wage distributions will be distorted if individuals select into jobs according to idiosyncratic returns. We illustrate how this type of sorting may bias wage-hedonic VSL estimates and describe two estimators that correct for it. Using data from the CPS, we recover VSL estimates that are three to four times larger than those based on the traditional techniques, statistically significant, and robust to a wide array of specifications.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 54 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 279-306

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Handle: RePEc:wly:iecrev:v:54:y:2013:i:1:p:279-306
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