Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=877890
 
 

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Measuring the Value of a Statistical Life: Problems and Prospects


Orley Ashenfelter


Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

January 2006

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1911
Princeton Law and Public Affairs Working Paper No. 06-002

Abstract:     
Tradeoffs between monetary wealth and fatal safety risks are summarized in the value of a statistical life (VSL), a measure that is widely used for the evaluation of public policies in medicine, the environment, and transportation safety. This paper demonstrates the widespread use of this concept and summarizes the major issues, both theoretical and empirical, that must be confronted in order to provide a credible estimate of a VSL. The paper concludes with an application of these issues to a particular study of speed limits and highway safety.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 32

Keywords: value of a statistical life, speed limits, safety risks, evaluation

JEL Classification: J17, H43, I18, R4

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Date posted: January 25, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Ashenfelter, Orley, Measuring the Value of a Statistical Life: Problems and Prospects (January 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1911; Princeton Law and Public Affairs Working Paper No. 06-002. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=877890 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.877890

Contact Information

Orley C. Ashenfelter (Contact Author)
Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )
Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4040 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
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