IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/yor/hectdg/18-20.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Valuing Life as an Asset, as a Statistic and at Gunpoint

Author

Listed:
  • Hugonnier, J.;
  • Pelgrin, F.;
  • St-Amour, P.;

Abstract

The Human Capital (HK) and Statistical Life Values (VSL) differ sharply in their empirical pricing of a human life and lack a common theoretical background to justify these differences. We first contribute to the theory and measurement of life value by providing a unified framework to formally define and relate the Hicksian willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid changes in death risks, the HK and the VSL. Second, we use this setting to introduce an alternative life value calculated at Gunpoint (GPV), i.e. the WTP to avoid certain, instantaneous death. Third, we associate a flexible human capital model to the common framework to characterize the WTP and the three life valuations in closed-form. Fourth, our structural estimates of these solutions yield mean life values of 8.35 M$ (VSL), 421 K$ (HK) and 447 K$ (GPV). We confirm that the strong curvature of the WTP and the linear projection hypothesis of the VSL explain why the latter is much larger than other values.

Suggested Citation

  • Hugonnier, J.; & Pelgrin, F.; & St-Amour, P.;, 2018. "Valuing Life as an Asset, as a Statistic and at Gunpoint," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 18/20, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:18/20
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.york.ac.uk/media/economics/documents/hedg/workingpapers/1820.pdf
    File Function: Main text
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    value of human life; human capital; value of statistical life; Hicksian willingness to pay; equivalent variation; mortality; structural estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • D15 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:yor:hectdg:18/20. 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: (Jane Rawlings) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Jane Rawlings to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deyoruk.html .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    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.