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Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages

Andrew Oswald and Nattavudh Powdthavee

The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) from University of Warwick, Department of Economics

Abstract: This paper studies the mental distress caused by bereavement. The largest emotional losses are from the death of a spouse; the second-worst in severity are the losses from the death of a child; the third-worst is the death of a parent. The paper explores how happiness regression equations might be used in tort cases to calculate compensatory damages for emotional harm and pain-and-suffering. We examine alternative well-being variables, discuss adaptation, consider the possibility that bereavement affects someone’s marginal utility of income, and suggest a procedure for correcting for the endogeneity of income. Although the paper’s contribution is methodological, and further research is needed, some illustrative compensation amounts are discussed

Pages: 44 pages
Date: 2007
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-hea and nep-ltv
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (17)

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Journal Article: Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages (2007) Downloads
Working Paper: Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages (2007) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wrk:warwec:827

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