The Value of Life in Legal Contexts: Survey and Critique

Posted: 11 May 2005

See all articles by W. Kip Viscusi

W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University - Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

Value of life issues traditionally pertain to insurance of the losses of accident victims, for which replacement of the economic loss is often an appropriate concept. Deterrence measures of the value of life focus on risk-money tradeoffs involving small changes in risk. Using market data for risky jobs and product risk contexts often yields substantial estimates of the value of life in the range of $3 million to $9 million. These estimates are useful in providing guidance for regulatory policy and assessments of liability. However, use of these values to determine compensation, known as hedonic damages, leads to excessive insurance.

Suggested Citation

Viscusi, W. Kip, The Value of Life in Legal Contexts: Survey and Critique ( 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=713112

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/bio/?pid=w-kip-viscusi

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

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

HOME PAGE: http://as.vanderbilt.edu/economics/bio/wkip-viscusi/

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://business.vanderbilt.edu/bio/w-kip-viscusi/

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

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