The Role of Publication Selection Bias in Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life

32 Pages Posted: 14 May 2014 Last revised: 20 Jun 2021

See all articles by W. Kip Viscusi

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

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Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

Meta-regression estimates of the value of a statistical life (VSL) controlling for publication selection bias yield bias-corrected estimates of VSL that are higher for labor market studies using the more recent Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) data. These results are borne out by the findings for four meta-analysis data sets and different formulations of the variable used to capture publication bias effects. Meta-regression estimates for a large sample of VSL estimates consisting only of results of labor market studies using the CFOI fatality data indicate publication selection bias effects that are not statistically significant in either fixed effects or random effects models with clustered standard errors. The confidence intervals of the publication bias-corrected estimates of the value of a statistical life sometimes include the sample mean estimates and always include the values that are currently used by government agencies.

Suggested Citation

Viscusi, W. Kip, The Role of Publication Selection Bias in Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life (May 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20116, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2436722

W. Kip Viscusi (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

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

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

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Nashville, TN 37203
United States
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(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

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