Immigrant Status and the Value of Statistical Life
Vanderbilt University - Law School; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics
W. Kip Viscusi
Vanderbilt University - Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics
April 22, 2009
Journal of Human Resources, Forthcoming
Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 09-15
Using data from the Current Population Survey and the New Immigrant Survey, this paper examines the common perception that immigrants are concentrated in high risk jobs for which they receive little wage compensation. Compared to native U.S. workers, non-Mexican immigrants are not at higher risk and have substantial values of statistical life. However, Mexican immigrants incur much higher fatality risks than native U.S. workers and do not receive wage compensation for these risks. Mexican immigrants who do not understand English fare especially poorly. The evidence is consistent with Mexican immigrants facing different wage offer curves.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: value of statistical life, immigrants, fatality risks, risk, compensating differentials, immigration, Mexican immigrants
JEL Classification: J17, J31, J61
Date posted: April 25, 2009 ; Last revised: November 27, 2012
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