Environmental policy tools and evaluation

Mortality Risk Valuation in Environment, Health and Transport Policies


Executive Summary | Table of Contents | How to obtain this publication | Related materials | OECD Work on Valuation


ISBN Number:
978-92-64-13076-0 Publication Date:
10 February 2012


This publication presents a major meta-analysis of 'value of a statistical life' (VSL) estimates derived from surveys where people around the world have been asked about their willingness to pay for small reduction in mortality risks.

The analysis seeks to explain the differences in the estimates, for example across countries. Differences in incomes and the magnitude of the risk reduction people have been asked to value were found to be the factors having the strongest impact on VSL, but a number of other policy-relevant factors are also important.

Based on the meta-analysis, and a broad review of the literature, the book also presents clear advice on how VSL values best can be used in assessments of environmental, health and transport policies, such as in cost-benefit analyses. Using explicit VSL estimates to quantify the benefits to society of fatality risk reductions can play an important role in the development of more cost-effective public policies.

Table of contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1. The valuation of mortality risk
Annex 1.A1. Value of a statistical life year (VOLY)
Annex 1.A2. An illustration of how VSL estimates have been used
Chapter 2. Meta-database on stated preference studies of mortality risk valuation
Chapter 3. Meta-regression analysis of value of statistical life estimates
Annex 3.A1. Additional meta-regressions
Annex 3.A2. A selection of regressions with additional variables
Annex 3.A3. Studies included in the main meta-regressions
Chapter 4. Using meta-analysis for benefi t transfer: Issues and examples
Chapter 5. How to derive value of a statistical life numbers for policy analysis
Chapter 6. Recommended value of a statistical life numbers for policy analysis
Chapter 7. Recommendations for use of value of a statistical life fi gures in policy assessments

How to obtain this publication

Readers can access the full version of Mortality Risk Valuation in Environment, Health and Transport Policies choosing from the following options:

Related Materials

OECD Work on Valuation


(This project has been financed with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein and in the various reports can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union).


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