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Do We Really Value Identified Lives More Highly Than Statistical Lives?

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  • Louise B Russell

    () (Department of Economics and Institute for Health)

Abstract

Value of Statistical Life (VSL) studies suggest that people’s willingness to pay for statistical lives is consistent with their willingness to pay for identified lives. The idea that the valuations are different may be no more than an artifact of the economic method for valuing statistical lives, the human capital approach, that was dominant at the time the distinction was proposed.

Suggested Citation

  • Louise B Russell, 2014. "Do We Really Value Identified Lives More Highly Than Statistical Lives?," Departmental Working Papers 201413, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:201413
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    File URL: http://www.sas.rutgers.edu/virtual/snde/wp/2014-13.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robinson Lisa A. & Hammitt James K., 2013. "Skills of the trade: valuing health risk reductions in benefit-cost analysis," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 107-130, March.
    2. Horowitz, John K. & McConnell, Kenneth E., 2002. "A Review of WTA/WTP Studies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 426-447, November.
    3. Glenn C. Blomquist, 2004. "Self-Protection and Averting Behavior, Values of Statistical Lives, and Benefit Cost Analysis of Environmental Policy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 89-110, March.
    4. Hammitt James K. & Robinson Lisa A, 2011. "The Income Elasticity of the Value per Statistical Life: Transferring Estimates between High and Low Income Populations," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-29, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Jones-Lee, M W & Hammerton, M & Philips, P R, 1985. "The Value of Safety: Results of a National Sample Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 49-72, March.
    7. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi & Christopher Woock & James P. Ziliak, 2012. "The Value of a Statistical Life: Evidence from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 74-87, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Value of Statistical Life; Identified Lives;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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