The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

418. W. Kip Viscusi, Racial Differences in Labor Market Values of a Statistical Life, 04/2003; prepared for Syracuse University Conference on Making Sense of Safety, 04/02/03, Washington, DC; subsequently published in Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Vol. 27, No. 3, December 2003, 239-256.

Abstract: This article constructs measures of job fatality rates for black and white workers using information on job-related fatalities from 1992-1997. The fatality rates for black employees are somewhat greater than those for whites. Each of these groups receives significant compensating wage differentials for fatality risks, controlling for nonfatal risks and expected workers' compensation benefits. The implicit value of a statistical life is lower for black workers than for whites. These results in conjunction with evidence that blacks receive less annual compensation for fatality risks than do whites imply that black and white workers face different market offer curves that are flatter for blacks than for whites.

418: PDF