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Behavioral economics and the value of a statistical life

Thomas Kniesner ()

Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 2019, vol. 58, issue 2, 207-217

Abstract: Abstract There are many possible connections between the value of statistical life (VSL) and behavioral economics. A list of topics includes endowment effects, risk salience, ambiguity aversion, present bias, reference groups, reference points, and experienced versus decision utilities. There are also nudges that connect to estimating or using VSL in government decisions, and cousins of behavioral economic research such as interpersonal heterogeneity, experiments, neuroeconomics, and the role of beauty or personal attractiveness in labor market outcomes. Current evidence suggests that VSL and behavioral economics best connect via (1) possible multi-attribute reference group effects and (2) a possible distinction between decision utility and experienced utility.

Keywords: VSL; Behavioral economics; WTP; WTA; Reference dependence; Benefit-cost analysis; Nudge; Internality; D61; D91; J17; J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s11166-019-09302-8

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