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Willingness to Accept Equals Willingness to Pay for Labor Market Estimates of the Value of Statistical Life

Author

Listed:
  • Kniesner, Thomas J.

    (Claremont Graduate University)

  • Viscusi, W. Kip

    (Vanderbilt University)

  • Ziliak, James P.

    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

Our research clarifies the conceptual linkages among willingness to pay for additional safety, willingness to accept less safety, and the value of statistical life (VSL). We present econometric estimates that in the important case of workers' decisions concerning exposure to fatal injury risk there is no statistically significant divergence between willingness to accept and willingness to pay. Our focal result contrasts with the literature documenting a considerable asymmetry in tradeoff rates for increases and decreases in risk. An important implication for policy is that it is reasonable to use labor market estimates of VSL as a measure of the willingness to pay for additional safety.

Suggested Citation

  • Kniesner, Thomas J. & Viscusi, W. Kip & Ziliak, James P., 2012. "Willingness to Accept Equals Willingness to Pay for Labor Market Estimates of the Value of Statistical Life," IZA Discussion Papers 6816, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6816
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. W. Kip Viscusi, 2015. "The Role of Publication Selection Bias in Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life," American Journal of Health Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-52, Winter.
    2. Kip Viscusi, W. & Gayer, Ted, 2016. "Rational Benefit Assessment for an Irrational World: Toward a Behavioral Transfer Test1," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 69-91, April.
    3. Sunstein Cass R., 2013. "The value of a statistical life: some clarifications and puzzles," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 237-261, August.
    4. Thomas J. Kniesner, 2019. "Behavioral economics and the value of a statistical life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 207-217, June.
    5. Kiet T. Nguyen & Jack L. Knetsch & Phumsith Mahasuweerachai, 2021. "WTP or WTA: A Means of Determining the Appropriate Welfare Measure of Positive and Negative Changes When Preferences are Reference Dependent," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 78(4), pages 615-633, April.
    6. Agamoni Majumder & S. Madheswaran, 2017. "Compensating wage differential and value of statistical life: a meta-analysis," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 60(4), pages 527-548, December.
    7. Lisa A. Robinson & James K. Hammitt, 2016. "Valuing Reductions in Fatal Illness Risks: Implications of Recent Research," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(8), pages 1039-1052, August.
    8. Joni Hersch, 2018. "Valuing the risk of workplace sexual harassment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 111-131, October.
    9. Louise B. Russell, 2014. "Do We Really Value Identified Lives More Highly Than Statistical Lives?," Medical Decision Making, , vol. 34(5), pages 556-559, July.
    10. Tadahiro Okuyama, 2017. "A risk benefit calculation method based on consumer behavior and household risk production function," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 37(2), pages 645-652.
    11. Castañeda Dower, Paul & Markevich, Andrei & Weber, Shlomo, 2021. "The value of a statistical life in a dictatorship: Evidence from Stalin," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    12. W. Kip Viscusi & Clayton Masterman, 2017. "Anchoring biases in international estimates of the value of a statistical life," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 103-128, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    VSL; CFOI; willingness to pay; willingness to accept; value of statistical life; panel data; PSID;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)

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