Estimating the Value of a Statistical Life: The Importance of Omitted Variables and Publication Bias

16 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2010 Last revised: 28 Dec 2011

See all articles by Orley Ashenfelter

Orley Ashenfelter

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

Michael Greenstone

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; Becker Friedman Institute for Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: April 2004

Abstract

In this paper we show that omitted variables and publication bias lead to severely biased estimates of the value of a statistical life. Although our empirical results are obtained in the context of a study of choices about road safety, we suspect that the same issues plague the estimation of monetary trade-offs regarding safety in other contexts.

Suggested Citation

Ashenfelter, Orley C. and Greenstone, Michael, Estimating the Value of a Statistical Life: The Importance of Omitted Variables and Publication Bias (April 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10401. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1719922

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)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Michael Greenstone

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Becker Friedman Institute for Economics ( email )

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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