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The value of statistical life (VSL) is one of the most scrutinized and controversialparameters estimated by environmental economists (Cameron 2009, Viscusi 2010), largely dueto the wide use of VSL estimates to value the mortality risk benefits of regulations that affectpublic health and safety (OMB 2011, Robinson and Hammitt 2010). The hedonic wage methodhas been a primary source of VSL estimates for use in applied benefit‐cost analysis and therehave been several meta‐analyses of these studies, including examinations of publication bias.We build on the existing literature by focusing on the coefficient on fatal risk rather than theVSL itself. This allows for larger sample sizes and reflects more recent methods that provide acleaner test for bias. Results suggest that publication bias is present in the full sample ofhedonic wage VSL estimates and that correcting for this by using those observations with themost precise estimates results in lower mean VSL estimates.

Keywords: value of statistical life ; VSL ; mortality risk ; benefits analysis

Subject(s): Research Methods/ Statistical Methods

Issue Date: 2013

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier:

Total Pages: 17

Record appears in: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) > 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C.

Autor: Wheeler, William ; Dockins, Chris


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