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Using Choice Experiments to Measure Relative Values of Statistical Lives: Evidence from Bangladesh


  • Minhaj Mahmud

    () (Keele University, Centre for Economic Research and School of Economic and Management Studies)


By assuming that an individual has preferences concerning different states of the world and these preferences can be described by an individual social welfare function, we explore the relative value of statistical life using survey data from Bangladesh. We apply a pair-wise choice experiment on life-saving programs to elicit individuals’ preferences regarding differences in the values of statistical lives related to age. We find that the relative value decreases strongly with age and that people have strong preferences for saving more life-years, rather than lives per se. Moreover, in specific follow-up questions, it is again elicited that a majority of the respondents believe that it is better, from a social point of view, to save younger individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Minhaj Mahmud, 2006. "Using Choice Experiments to Measure Relative Values of Statistical Lives: Evidence from Bangladesh," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2006/02, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kee:kerpuk:2006/02

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    Social preference; choice experiment; life-saving programs; relative value of life; Bangladesh.;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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