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Working Paper: Robustness of VSL Values from Contingent Valuation Surveys

Paper Number: 2005-01

Document Date: 01/2005

Author(s): Anna Alberini

Subject Area(s): Health; Benefit-Cost Analysis; Valuation

Keywords: contingent valuation; VSL; WTP; risk reductions; robustness; outliers; endogeneity

Abstract: This paper examines factors that may influence the estimates of the Value of a Statistical Life obtained from contingent valuation surveys that elicit the willingness to pay (WTP) for mortality risk reductions. We examine the importance of distributional assumptions, the choice of the welfare statistics of interest, the procedure for computing them, outliers, undesirable response effects, and internal validity of the WTP responses. We illustrate the importance of these factors using dichotomous-choice and open-ended WTP data from four recent contingent valuation surveys.

Published: Alberini, Anna. 2005. "What Is a Life Worth? Robustness of VSL Values from Contingent Valuation Surveys," Risk Analysis, 25(4): 783-800.

This paper is part of the Environmental Economics Working Paper Series.

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