Roy model sorting and nonrandom selection in the valuation of a statistical life

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Wage-hedonics is used to recover the value of a statistical life (VSL) by exploiting the fact that workers choosing riskier occupations are compensated with a higher wage. Roy (Oxford Economic Papers 3 (1951), 135-46) suggests that observed wage distributions will be distorted if individuals choose jobs according to idiosyncratic returns. We describe how this type of sorting biases wage-hedonic VSL estimates and implement two new estimation strategies that correct that bias. Using data from the Current Population Surveys, we recover VSL estimates that are three to four times larger than those based on the traditional techniques, statistically significant, and robust to a wide array of specifications. © (2013) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Deleire, T; Khan, S; Timmins, C

Published Date

  • February 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 279 - 306

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-2354

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0020-6598

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1468-2354.2012.00733.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus