Psychological features affecting valuation of life

Ian Savage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Economists have studied a variety of consumer, technological and workplace hazards to determine the value of life. These studies have produced widely divergent results. This paper investigates whether or not cognitive characteristics of different hazards may explain part of the diversity. Our findings are that while catastrophic hazards such as nuclear accidents engender heightened psychological fear and a high willingness-to-pay to reduce risks, the same is not true for more everyday hazards. Small sample size and dubious source data may be responsible for this counter-intuitive result, which suggests there is a need for additional joint work by psychologists and economists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-383
Number of pages5
JournalEconomics Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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