IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/journl/hal-01685924.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life

Author

Listed:
  • Antoine Bommier

    (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UT1 - Université Toulouse 1 Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées)

  • Bertrand Villeneuve

    (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres)

Abstract

The standard literature on the value of life relies on Yaari's (1965) model, which includes an implicit assumption of risk neutrality with respect to life duration. To overpass this limitation, we extend the theory to a simple variety of nonadditively separable preferences. The enlargement we propose is relevant for the evaluation of life-saving programs: current practice, we estimate, puts too little weight on mortality risk reduction of the young. Our correction exceeds in magnitude that introduced by the switch from the notion of number of lives saved to the notion of years of life saved.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Bommier & Bertrand Villeneuve, 2012. "Risk Aversion and the Value of Risk to Life," Post-Print hal-01685924, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01685924
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6975.2010.01390.x
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01685924
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01685924/document
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/j.1539-6975.2010.01390.x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Moore, Michael J & Viscusi, W Kip, 1988. "The Quantity-Adjusted Value of Life," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(3), pages 369-388, July.
    2. Joseph E. Aldy & W. Kip Viscusi, 2008. "Adjusting the Value of a Statistical Life for Age and Cohort Effects," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 573-581, August.
    3. Joseph E. Aldy & W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "Age Variations in Workers' Value of Statistical Life," NBER Working Papers 10199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mark Yuying An, 1996. "Semiparametric Estimation of Willingness to Pay Distributions," Econometrics 9611001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Eeckhoudt, Louis R. & Hammitt, James K., 2004. "Does risk aversion increase the value of mortality risk?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 13-29, January.
    6. Kihlstrom, Richard E. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1974. "Risk aversion with many commodities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 361-388, July.
    7. Ariel Rubinstein, 2003. ""Economics and Psychology"? The Case of Hyperbolic Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1207-1216, November.
    8. Antoine Bommier, 2005. "Life-Cycle Theory for Human Beings," Working Papers hal-00441890, HAL.
    9. John Muellbauer, 1988. "Habits, Rationality and Myopia in the Life Cycle Consumption Function," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 9, pages 47-70.
    10. Blackorby, Charles & Bossert, Walter & Donaldson, David, 1997. "Birth-Date Dependent Population Ethics: Critical-Level Principles," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 260-284, December.
    11. Isaac Ehrlich & Yong Yin, 2005. "Explaining Diversities in Age-Specific Life Expectancies and Values of Life Saving: A Numerical Analysis," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 129-162, September.
    12. Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen & Krupnick, Alan & Simon, N.B.Nathalie B., 2004. "Does the value of a statistical life vary with age and health status? Evidence from the US and Canada," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 769-792, July.
    13. Raquel Carrasco & José M. Labeaga & J. David López-Salido, 2005. "Consumption and Habits: Evidence from Panel Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 144-165, January.
    14. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
    15. An, Mark Y. & Roberto Ayala, 1995. "A Mixture Model of Willingness to Pay Distributions," Working Papers 95-21, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    16. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 2007. "The Value of Life and the Rise in Health Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 39-72.
    17. Kniesner Thomas J & Viscusi W. Kip & Ziliak James P, 2006. "Life-Cycle Consumption and the Age-Adjusted Value of Life," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, January.
    18. 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.
    19. Antoine Bommier, 2006. "Uncertain Lifetime And Intertemporal Choice: Risk Aversion As A Rationale For Time Discounting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1223-1246, November.
    20. Kip Viscusi, W. & Aldy, Joseph E., 2007. "Labor market estimates of the senior discount for the value of statistical life," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 377-392, May.
    21. Antoine Bommier, 2002. "Valuing life under the shadow of death : on stationary lifetime preferences under uncertainty," Research Unit Working Papers 0301, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
    22. Scott F. Richard, 1975. "Multivariate Risk Aversion, Utility Independence and Separable Utility Functions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(1), pages 12-21, September.
    23. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2006. "The Value of Health and Longevity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 871-904, October.
    24. Louis Kaplow, 2005. "The Value of a Statistical Life and the Coefficient of Relative Risk Aversion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 23-34, July.
    25. Fumio Hayashi, 1985. "The Effect of Liquidity Constraints on Consumption: A Cross-Sectional Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(1), pages 183-206.
    26. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-286, April.
    27. Johansson, Per-Olov, 2002. "On the Definition and Age-Dependency of the Value of a Statistical Life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 251-263, November.
    28. Johansson, Per-Olov, 2002. "On the Definition and Age-Dependency of the Value of a Statistical Life. A Review and Extension," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 490, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 29 Jan 2002.
    29. repec:adr:anecst:y:1988:i:9:p:03 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
    31. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
    32. V. Kerry Smith & Mary F. Evans & Hyun Kim & Donald H. Taylor, 2004. "Do the Near-Elderly Value Mortality Risks Differently?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 423-429, February.
    33. Epstein, Larry G., 1983. "Stationary cardinal utility and optimal growth under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 133-152, October.
    34. Uzawa, H, 1969. "Time Preference and the Penrose Effect in a Two-Class Model of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 628-652, Part II, .
    35. Browning, Martin, 1991. "A Simple Nonadditive Preference Structure for Models of Household Behavior over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 607-637, June.
    36. Epstein, Larry G., 1987. "A simple dynamic general equilibrium model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 68-95, February.
    37. Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson, 1990. "A Review Article: The Case against the Use of the Sum of Compensating Variations in Cost-Benefit Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 471-494, August.
    38. Donald S. Shepard & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1984. "Survival versus Consumption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(4), pages 423-439, April.
    39. Pratt, John W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1996. "Willingness to Pay and the Distribution of Risk and Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 747-763, August.
    40. repec:adr:anecst:y:1988:i:9 is not listed on IDEAS
    41. Deaton, Angus, 1974. "A Reconsideration of the Empirical Implications of Additive Preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(334), pages 338-348, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Antoine Bommier, 2005. "Life-Cycle Theory for Human Beings," Working Papers hal-00441890, HAL.
    2. Bommier, Antoine & Lanz, Bruno & Zuber, Stéphane, 2015. "Models-as-usual for unusual risks? On the value of catastrophic climate change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 1-22.
    3. Delprat, G. & Leroux, M.-L. & Michaud, P.-C., 2016. "Evidence on individual preferences for longevity risk," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 160-179, April.
    4. Svetlana Pashchenko & Ponpoje Porapakkarm, 2020. "Value of Life and Annuity Demand," Working Papers 2020-042, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    5. Péter Hudomiet & Robert J. Willis, 2013. "Estimating Second Order Probability Beliefs from Subjective Survival Data," Decision Analysis, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 152-170, June.
    6. Antoine Bommier, 2010. "Portfolio Choice under Uncertain Lifetime," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 57-73, February.
    7. Ryan Edwards, 2013. "The cost of uncertain life span," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1485-1522, October.
    8. Ian W R Martin & Robert S Pindyck, 2021. "Welfare Costs of Catastrophes: Lost Consumption and Lost Lives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 131(634), pages 946-969.
    9. Antoine Bommier, 2008. "Rational Impatience ?," Working Papers hal-00441880, HAL.
    10. Dionne, Georges & Lebeau, Martin, 2010. "Le calcul de la valeur statistique d’une vie humaine," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 86(4), pages 487-530, décembre.
    11. Caliendo, Frank N. & Gorry, Aspen & Slavov, Sita, 2020. "Survival ambiguity and welfare," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 20-42.
    12. Franco Mariuzzo & Patrick Paul Walsh & Ciara Whelan, 2004. "EU Merger Control in Differentiated Product Industries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1312, CESifo.
    13. Huaxiong Huang & Moshe A. Milevsky & Thomas S. Salisbury, 2012. "Optimal retirement consumption with a stochastic force of mortality," Papers 1205.2295, arXiv.org.
    14. James Hammitt, 2013. "Admissible utility functions for health, longevity, and wealth: integrating monetary and life-year measures," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 311-325, December.
    15. Juan Carlos CóRdoba & Marla Ripoll, 2017. "Risk Aversion and the Value of Life," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(4), pages 1472-1509.
    16. Scott Pataya & Liang Daan, 2016. "What is the Economics of Wind Hazard Mitigation?," Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 25-29, June.
    17. Strand, Jon, 2006. "Valuation of environmental improvements in continuous time with mortality and morbidity effects," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 229-241, August.
    18. Antoine Bommier, 2006. "Mortality, Time Preference and Life-Cycle Models," Working Papers hal-00441888, HAL.
    19. Huang, Huaxiong & Milevsky, Moshe A. & Salisbury, Thomas S., 2012. "Optimal retirement consumption with a stochastic force of mortality," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 282-291.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4812 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters, in: André de Palma & Robin Lindsey & Emile Quinet & Roger Vickerman (ed.), A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Daniel Bauer & Darius Lakdawalla & Julian Reif, 2018. "Mortality Risk, Insurance, and the Value of Life," NBER Working Papers 25055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. James K. Hammitt, 2020. "Valuing mortality risk in the time of COVID-19," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 129-154, October.
    5. Cameron, Trudy Ann & DeShazo, J.R., 2013. "Demand for health risk reductions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 87-109.
    6. Aldy, Joseph Edgar & Smyth, Seamus J, 2014. "Heterogeneity in the Value of Life," Scholarly Articles 23017248, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    7. Ryan Edwards, 2013. "The cost of uncertain life span," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 1485-1522, October.
    8. Herrera-Araujo, Daniel & Rochaix, Lise, 2020. "Does the Value per Statistical Life vary with age or baseline health? Evidence from a compensating wage study in France," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    9. Andersson, Henrik, 2006. "Willingness to Pay for Road Safety and Estimates of the Risk of Death: Evidence from a Swedish Contingent Valuation Study," Working Papers 2006:5, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).
    10. Kip Viscusi, W. & Aldy, Joseph E., 2007. "Labor market estimates of the senior discount for the value of statistical life," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 377-392, May.
    11. James O’Brien, 2018. "Age, autos, and the value of a statistical life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 51-79, August.
    12. Lisa A. Robinson & James K. Hammitt, 2011. "Behavioral Economics and Regulatory Analysis," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 31(9), pages 1408-1422, September.
    13. Kuhn, Michael & Frankovic, Ivan & Wrzaczek, Stefan, 2017. "Medical Progress, Demand for Health Care, and Economic Performance," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168249, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Mary Evans & V. Kerry Smith, 2008. "Complementarity and the Measurement of Individual Risk Tradeoffs: Accounting for Quantity and Quality of Life Effects," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(3), pages 381-400, November.
    15. Ivan Frankovic & Michael Kuhn & Stefan Wrzaczek, 2020. "On the Anatomy of Medical Progress Within an Overlapping Generations Economy," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(2), pages 215-257, June.
    16. Henrik Andersson & James Hammitt & Gunnar Lindberg & Kristian Sundström, 2013. "Willingness to Pay and Sensitivity to Time Framing: A Theoretical Analysis and an Application on Car Safety," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(3), pages 437-456, November.
    17. Kevin Haninger & James K. Hammitt, 2011. "Diminishing Willingness to Pay per Quality‐Adjusted Life Year: Valuing Acute Foodborne Illness," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 31(9), pages 1363-1380, September.
    18. Henry A. Roman & James K. Hammitt & Tyra L. Walsh & David M. Stieb, 2012. "Expert Elicitation of the Value per Statistical Life in an Air Pollution Context," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 32(12), pages 2133-2151, December.
    19. Evans, Mary F. & Smith, V. Kerry, 2006. "Do we really understand the age-VSL relationship?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 242-261, August.
    20. Henrik Andersson, 2008. "Willingness to Pay for Car Safety: Evidence from Sweden," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(4), pages 579-594, December.
    21. Lisa A. Robinson & James K. Hammitt, 2013. "Behavioral economics and the conduct of benefit–cost analysis: towards principles and standards," Chapters, in: Scott O. Farrow & Richard Zerbe, Jr. (ed.), Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis, chapter 10, pages 317-363, Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lifecycle Behavior; Life Insurance; Value of Statistical Life; Cost-Benefit Analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01685924. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: CCSD (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.