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Free Content Public Choice about the Value of a Statistical Life for Cost-Benefit Analyses: The Case of Road Safety

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Cost-benefit analysts involved in evaluating projects influencing the risk of death and injury have access to a wide group of studies that provide a large range of estimates of the value of a statistical life. It is a difficult task to pick the right estimate. This paper discusses the potential avenues available to analysts looking for values of a statistical life to be used in cost-benefit analyses of projects involving changes in road safety. First, it discusses the relevance of looking for an original set of estimates involving a new study and the collection of new data. Second, if the time or the resources necessary to conduct a new study are not available, an analytical framework that allows a choice of estimates is offered. Another contribution of this paper is to present an up-to-date survey of studies on the value of a statistical life.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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