The Rationality of Automobile Seatbelt Usage: The Value of Statistical Life and Fatality Risk Beliefs

37 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2004

See all articles by Jahn Karl Hakes

Jahn Karl Hakes

Albion College - Department of Economics and Management; Albion College

W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University - Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

This article examines the rationality of seatbelt usage using an original data set of 465 adult respondents. People with high stated values of statistical life, who do not smoke, and who have risk beliefs that are highly elastic with respect to actual risks are more likely to use seatbelts, as economic theory predicts. Respondents' stated values of statistical life were similar on average to the value of life range of $2.2 million to $7.9 million computed from their revealed preferences for seatbelt usage, providing empirical support for the mutual consistency of these two approaches.

Keywords: seatbelts, value of statistical life, risk

JEL Classification: K13, I1, D80, L51

Suggested Citation

Hakes, Jahn Karl and Hakes, Jahn Karl and Viscusi, W. Kip, The Rationality of Automobile Seatbelt Usage: The Value of Statistical Life and Fatality Risk Beliefs (May 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=611642 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.611642

Jahn Karl Hakes

Albion College - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Albion, MI 49224
United States
517-629-0650 (Phone)
517-629-0428 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://people.albion.edu/jhakes

Albion College ( email )

113 Robinson Hall
Albion, MI 49224
United States
517-629-0650 (Phone)

W. Kip Viscusi (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7715 (Phone)
615-322-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

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