Using Job Changes to Evaluate the Bias of the Value of a Statistical Life
This paper presents a new approach to obtain unbiased estimates of the value of a statistical life (VSL) with labor market data. Investigating job changes, we combine the advantages of recent panel studies, which allow to control for unobserved heterogeneity of workers, and conventional cross-sectional estimations, which primarily exploit the variation of wage and risk between different jobs. We find a VSL of 6.1 million euros from pooled cross-sectional estimation, 1.9 million euros from the static first-differences panel model and 3.5 million euros from the job-changer specification. Thus, ignoring individual heterogeneity causes overestimates of the VSL, whereas identifying the wage-risk tradeoff not only by means of between job variation (job-changer model) but also on the basis of noisy variation on the job (panel models) may lead to underestimates of the VSL. Our results can be used to perform cost-benefit analyses of public projects aimed at reducing fatality risks, e.g., in the domains of health, environmental or traffic policy.
|Date of creation:||2007|
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- Kniesner, Thomas J. & Viscusi, W. Kip & Woock, Christopher & Ziliak, James P., 2007.
"Pinning Down the Value of Statistical Life,"
IZA Discussion Papers
3107, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi & Christopher Woock & James P. Ziliak, 2005. "How Unobservable Productivity Biases the Value of a Statistical Life," NBER Working Papers 11659, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003.
"The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World,"
NBER Working Papers
9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
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