Pinning Down the Value of Statistical Life

34 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2007

See all articles by Thomas J. Kniesner

Thomas J. Kniesner

Claremont Graduate University - Department of Economic Sciences; Syracuse University - Department of Economics; IZA

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

Christopher Woock

Abbott Laboratories

James P. Ziliak

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

Our research addresses fundamental long - standing concerns in the compensating wage differentials literature and its public policy implications: the econometric properties of estimates of the value of statistical life (VSL) and the wide range of such estimates from about $0.5 million to about $21 million. We address most of the prominent econometric issues by applying panel data, a new and more accurate fatality risk measure, and systematic selection of panel estimator in our research. Controlling for measurement error, endogeneity, individual heterogeneity, and state dependence yields both a reasonable average level and narrow range for the estimated value of a statistical life of about $5.5 - $7.5 million.

Keywords: VSL, panel data, fixed effects, random effects, PSID

JEL Classification: I10, J17, J28, K00

Suggested Citation

Kniesner, Thomas J. and Viscusi, W. Kip and Woock, Christopher and Ziliak, James P., Pinning Down the Value of Statistical Life (October 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 3107. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1029912

Thomas J. Kniesner (Contact Author)

Claremont Graduate University - Department of Economic Sciences ( email )

Claremont, CA 91711
United States

Syracuse University - Department of Economics ( email )

Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
United States

IZA

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7715 (Phone)
615-322-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Christopher Woock

Abbott Laboratories ( email )

100 Abbott Park Road
Abbott Park, IL 60064-6008
United States

James P. Ziliak

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

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