Professor W. Kip Viscusi’s estimates on VSL adopted by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT)

Apr 23, 2013

Professor W. Kip Viscusi

In its 2013 guidance memo, DOT updated its approach for assigning a dollar value to prevention of fatal injuries, which is now over $9 million per expected fatality. DOT relied upon Viscusi’s studies to set the overall valuation of risk to life, the reasonable range of valuation estimates, and the effect of income levels on these values.  The previous DOT methodology was based largely on the 2003 meta-analysis of value of statistical life studies by Viscusi and Aldy, while the current approach relies on labor market studies using newer occupational fatality data. Yellow highlighting in the attached DOT guidance document indicates all studies authored or coauthored by Viscusi. [Read the DOT 2013 guidance memo]

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