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The Economic Value of Preventing Fatalities: Recent evidence on the value of a statistical life in Sweden


  • Hultkrantz, Lars

    () (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)

  • Svensson, Mikael

    () (Department of Business, Economics, Statistics and Informatics)


Aims: This paper briefly reviews the theoretical and empirical foundation for the economic valuation of preventing fatalities, referred to as the value of a statistical life (VSL), and summarizes recent published empirical evidence on VSL in Sweden. Methods: Literature searches were conducted in Econlit, Pubmed, Google Scholar and in bibliographies of published papers. Results: A total of nine published papers on the value of preventing fatalities in Sweden where identified since year 2000. Most studies have been conducted in a road-safety context, which may be explained by the widespread use of economic evaluations in this sector. Preferred policy estimates of the value of a statistical life in the road sector ranges from 13 to 57 million Swedish kronor (€1.4 to €6.1 million). Currently, official authorities in Sweden recommend a VSL of 22 million Swedish kronor (€2.4 million). Conclusion: In order to conduct an economic evaluation of a life-saving intervention it is necessary to have an explicit economic value of a prevented fatality. Empirical research on Swedish data suggests that an appropriate value is in the range of 13 to 57 million Swedish kronor (€1.4 to €6.1 million).

Suggested Citation

  • Hultkrantz, Lars & Svensson, Mikael, 2010. "The Economic Value of Preventing Fatalities: Recent evidence on the value of a statistical life in Sweden," Working Papers 2010:14, Örebro University, School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:oruesi:2010_014

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lars Hultkrantz & Gunnar Lindberg & Camilla Andersson, 2006. "The value of improved road safety," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 151-170, March.
    2. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman & Peter Martinsson, 2004. "Is Transport Safety More Valuable in the Air?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 147-163, March.
    4. Svensson, Mikael & Vredin Johansson, Maria, 2007. "Willingness to Pay for Private and Public Safety: Why the Difference?," Working Papers 2007:2, Örebro University, School of Business.
    5. Karen Blumenschein & GlennC. Blomquist & Magnus Johannesson & Nancy Horn & Patricia Freeman, 2008. "Eliciting Willingness to Pay Without Bias: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 114-137, January.
    6. Andersson, Henrik & Lindberg, Gunnar, 2007. "Benevolence and the value of road safety," Working Papers 2007:4, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI), revised 04 Jun 2008.
    7. Arianne de Blaeij & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Piet Rietveld & Erik T. Verhoef, 2000. "The Value of Statistical Life in Road Safety: A Meta-Analysis," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-089/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Carlsson, Fredrik & Daruvala, Dinky & Jaldell, Henrik, 2008. "Value of statistical life and cause of accident: A choice experiment," Working Papers in Economics 332, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
    10. Krüger, Niclas A. & Svensson, Mikael, 2009. "The impact of real options on willingness to pay for mortality risk reductions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 563-569, May.
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    More about this item


    Willingness to pay; Value of a statistical life; Stated Preferences; Revealed Preferences; Economic Evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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