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The Value of a Statistical Injury: New Evidence from the Swiss Labor Market


  • Andreas Kuhn
  • Oliver Ruf


This paper deals with the compensation for non-fatal accident risk in Switzerland and presents empirical estimates of the value of a statistical injury. We approach the problem of endogenous sorting of workers into jobs with different accident risks based on unobserved productivity differences twofold. First, we have access to the number of accidents not only at the level of industries, but within cells defined over industry x skill-level of the job, which allows us to estimate risk compensation within groups of workers defined over the same cells. Second, we capitalize on the partial panel structure of our data which allows us to empirically isolate the wage component specific to the employer. Our different approaches to identification in fact yield very different estimates of the value of a statistical injury. Our preferred estimate gives an estimate of about 40,000 Swiss francs (per prevented injury per year).

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Kuhn & Oliver Ruf, 2008. "The Value of a Statistical Injury: New Evidence from the Swiss Labor Market," IEW - Working Papers 367, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:367

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Viscusi, W Kip & O'Connor, Charles J, 1984. "Adaptive Responses to Chemical Labeling: Are Workers Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 942-956, December.
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    More about this item


    Compensating Wage Differentials; Value of a Statistical Injury; Risk Measurement; Unobserved Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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