NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Estimating the Value of a Statistical Life: The Importance of Omitted Variables and Publication Bias

Orley Ashenfelter, Michael Greenstone

NBER Working Paper No. 10401
Issued in April 2004
NBER Program(s):   HC   LE   LS

In this paper we show that omitted variables and publication bias lead to severely biased estimates of the value of a statistical life. Although our empirical results are obtained in the context of a study of choices about road safety, we suspect that the same issues plague the estimation of monetary trade-offs regarding safety in other contexts.

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Published: Ashenfelter, Orley and Michael Greenstone. "Estimating The Value Of A Statistical Life: The Importance Of Omitted Variables And Publication Bias," American Economic Review, 2004, v94(2,May), 454-460.

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