Mismeasuring the Value of Statistical Life
2009 (English)In: Journal of economic methodology, ISSN 1350-178X, E-ISSN 1469-9427, Vol. 16, no 2, 109-123 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The value of a statistical life (VSL) is an important tool for cost-benefit analysis of regulatory policies that concern fatality risks. Its proponents claim that it measures people's risk preferences, and that VSL therefore is a tool of vicarious governance. This paper criticizes the revealed preference method for measuring VSL. It specifies three minimal conditions for vicarious governance: sensitivity, fairness and hypothetical compromise, and shows that the VSL measure, in its common application in policy formation and analysis, violates these conditions. It therefore concludes that the revealed preference VSL measure, in its current form, is not a tool of vicarious governance.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 16, no 2, 109-123 p.
Cost-benefit analysis; Risk; Value of life; Vicarious governance
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-81973DOI: 10.1080/13501780902940703OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-81973DiVA: diva2:497806
QC 201202132012-02-112012-02-112012-02-13Bibliographically approved