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

American Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2015, Forthcoming

Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 14-32

46 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2014

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 6, 2014

Abstract

Meta-regression estimates of the value of a statistical life (VSL) controlling for publication selection bias often yield bias-corrected estimates of VSL that are substantially below the mean VSL estimates. Labor market studies using the more recent Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) data are subject to less measurement error and also yield higher bias-corrected estimates than do studies based on earlier fatality rate measures. These results are borne out by the findings for a large sample of all VSL estimates based on labor market studies using CFOI data and for four meta-analysis data sets consisting of the authors’ best estimates of VSL. The confidence intervals of the publication bias-corrected estimates of VSL based on the CFOI data include the values that are currently used by government agencies, which are in line with the most precisely estimated values in the literature.

Keywords: value of a statistical life, VSL, meta-regression, publication selection bias, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, CFOI

JEL Classification: I18, K32, J17, J31

Suggested Citation

Viscusi, W. Kip, The Role of Publication Selection Bias in Estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life (November 6, 2014). American Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2015, Forthcoming; Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 14-32. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2520170

W. Kip Viscusi (Contact Author)

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
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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

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