NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Mary F. Evans

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

Working Papers and Chapters

September 2009Measuring How Risk Tradeoffs Adjust With Income
with V. Kerry Smith: w15372
Efforts to reconcile inconsistencies between theory and estimates of the income elasticity of the value of a statistical life (IEVSL) overlook important restrictions implied by a more complete description of the individual choice problem. We develop a more general model of the IEVSL that reconciles some of the observed discrepancies. Our framework describes how exogenous income shocks, such as unexpected medical expenditures, may affect labor supply decisions which in turn influence both the coefficient of relative risk aversion and the IEVSL. The presence of a consumption commitment, such as a home mortgage, also alters this labor supply adjustment. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study to explore the responsiveness of labor force exit decisions to spousal health shocks and the...
Who Counts in Evaluating the Effects of Air Pollution Policies on Households? Non-Market Valuation in the Presence of Dependencies
with Christine Poulos, V. Kerry Smith: w15366
Individuals who are likely to realize the largest benefits from improvements in air quality often depend on other members of their households to make time or monetary contributions to their care. The presence of these dependency relationships among household members poses challenges for benefit estimation since it is unlikely that the conditions necessary for recovering the underlying individual preferences from household choices are satisfied in this setting. We propose a conceptual framework that highlights the role of these dependencies in the choice models used to estimate the willingness to pay for environmental quality improvements. We design a complementary stated preference survey that describes hypothetical dependency relationships for household members of different ages to tes...
March 2008Can Weak Substitution be Rehabilitated?
with V. Kerry Smith, H. Spencer Banzhaf, Christine Poulos: w13903
This paper develops a graphical analysis and an analytical model that demonstrate how weak substitution can be used for non-market valuation. Both weak complementarity and weak substitution can be evaluated as restrictions that allow quantity or quality changes in non-market goods to be described as price changes that yield equivalent changes in individual well being. They are Hicksian equivalents in that the price changes yield the same utility changes as would the quantity or quality changes. After discussion of several potential applications of weak substitution, the paper develops the parallel between the restriction and recent strategies from modeling differentiated goods.
January 2008Complementarity and the Measurement of Individual Risk Tradeoffs: Accounting for Quantity and Quality of Life Effects
with V. Kerry Smith: w13722
This paper considers the factors responsible for differences with age in estimates of the wage compensation an individual requires to accept increased occupational fatality risk. We derive a relationship between the value of a statistical life (VSL) and the degree of complementarity between consumption and labor supplied when health status serves as a potential source of variation in this relationship. Our empirical analysis finds that variations in an individual's health status or quality of life and anticipated longevity threats lead to significant differences in the estimated wage/risk tradeoffs. We describe how extensions to the specification of hedonic wage models, including measures for quality of life and anticipated longevity threats, help to explain the diversity in past studies ...

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