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Are Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life Exaggerated?

  • Hristos Doucouliagos

    ()

  • T.D. Stanley

    ()

  • Margaret Giles

    ()

The magnitude of the value of a statistical life (VSL) is critical to the evaluation of many health and safety initiatives. To date, the large and rigorous VSL research literature has not explicitly accommodated publication selectivity bias (i.e., the reduced probability that insignificant or negative VSL values are reported). This study demonstrates that doing so is essential. For studies that employ hedonic wage equations to estimate VSL, correction for selection bias reduces the average value of a statistical life by seventy to eighty percent. Our meta-regression analysis also identifies several sources for the wide heterogeneity found among reported VSL estimates.

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File URL: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/workingpapers/papers/2011_2.pdf
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Paper provided by Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance in its series Economics Series with number 2011_2.

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Date of creation: 11 Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2011_2
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  12. T. D. Stanley, 2008. "Meta-Regression Methods for Detecting and Estimating Empirical Effects in the Presence of Publication Selection," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(1), pages 103-127, 02.
  13. Hristos Doucouliagos & T.D. Stanley, 2008. "Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," Economics Series 2008_14, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
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  35. repec:dgr:uvatin:20000089 is not listed on IDEAS
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