IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/workingpapers/papers/2011_2.pdf
Download Restriction: no

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.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 11 Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2011_2
Contact details of provider: Postal: 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125
Phone: 61 3 9244 3815
Web page: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/index.php

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Bellavance, Franois & Dionne, Georges & Lebeau, Martin, 2009. "The value of a statistical life: A meta-analysis with a mixed effects regression model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 444-464, March.
  2. Ashenfelter, Orley, 2006. "Measuring the Value of a Statistical Life: Problems and Prospects," IZA Discussion Papers 1911, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Stanley, T. D. & Jarrell, Stephen B. & Doucouliagos, Hristos, 2010. "Could It Be Better to Discard 90% of the Data? A Statistical Paradox," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 64(1), pages 70-77.
  4. J. Bradford De Long & Kevin Lang, . "Are All Economic Hypotheses False?," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _117, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  5. Peter Dorman & Paul Hagstrom, 1998. "Wage Compensation for Dangerous Work Revisited," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 116-135, October.
  6. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Bowland, Bradley J. & Beghin, John C., 2001. "Robust estimates of value of a statistical life for developing economies," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 385-396, May.
  8. 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.
  9. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-46, December.
  10. T. D. Stanley, 2005. "Beyond Publication Bias," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 309-345, 07.
  11. Janusz R. Mrozek & Laura O. Taylor, 2002. "What determines the value of life? a meta-analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 253-270.
  12. Christopher S. Carpenter & Mark F. Stehr, 2010. "Intended and Unintended Effects of Youth Bicycle Helmet Laws," NBER Working Papers 15658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Thijs Dekker & Roy Brouwer & Marjan Hofkes & Klaus Moeltner, 2011. "The Effect of Risk Context on the Value of a Statistical Life: a Bayesian Meta-model," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(4), pages 597-624, August.
  15. 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.
  16. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Time-Series Minimum-Wage Studies: A Meta-analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 238-43, May.
  17. 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.
  18. Leigh J. Paul, 1995. "Compensating Wages, Value of a Statistical Life, and Inter-industry Differentials," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 83-97, January.
  19. 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.
  20. T.D Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2007. "Identifying and Correcting Publication Selection Bias in the Efficiency-Wage Literature: Heckman Meta-Regression," Economics Series 2007_11, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  21. 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 205-20, December.
  22. Alan Krupnick, 2002. "The value of reducing risk of death: a policy perspective," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(2), pages 275-282.
  23. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi & James P. Ziliak, 2009. "Policy Relevant Heterogeneity in the Value of Statistical Life: New Evidence from Panel Data Quantile Regressions," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 118, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  24. Hristos Doucouliagos & T.D. Stanley, 2008. "Theory Competition and Selectivity: Are All Economic Facts Greatly Exaggerated?," Economics Series 2008_06, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  25. Hwang, Hae-shin & Reed, W Robert & Hubbard, Carlton, 1992. "Compensating Wage Differentials and Unobserved Productivity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 835-58, August.
  26. Trudy Ann Cameron, 2010. "Euthanizing the Value of a Statistical Life," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 161-178, Summer.
  27. T. D. Stanley, 2001. "Wheat from Chaff: Meta-analysis as Quantitative Literature Review," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
  28. Liu, Jin-Tan & Hammitt, James K. & Liu, Jin-Long, 1997. "Estimated hedonic wage function and value of life in a developing country," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 353-358, December.
  29. Ikuho Kochi & Bryan Hubbell & Randall Kramer, 2006. "An Empirical Bayes Approach to Combining and Comparing Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life for Environmental Policy Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(3), pages 385-406, July.
  30. Adler, Matthew D & Posner, Eric A, 2000. "Implementing Cost-Benefit Analysis When Preferences Are Distorted," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 1105-47, June.
  31. T.D. Stanley & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2010. "Picture This: A Simple Graph That Reveals Much Ado About Research," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 170-191, 02.
  32. Ann Fisher & Lauraine G. Chestnut & Daniel M. Violette, 1989. "The value of reducing risks of death: A note on new evidence," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 88-100.
  33. G. Dionne & P.-C. Michaud, 2002. "Statistical Analysis of Value-of Life estimates using Hedonic Wage Method," THEMA Working Papers 2002-13, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  34. Lisa A. Robinson, 2007. "Policy Monitor How US Government Agencies Value Mortality Risk Reductions," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(2), pages 283-299, Summer.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Meta-Analysis in Economics

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2011_2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dr Xueli Tang)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.