Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics

, Volume 145, Issue 2, pp 137–153 | Cite as

The Marginal Cost of Saving a Life in Health Care: Age, Gender and Regional Differences in Switzerland

  • Stefan Felder
  • Andreas Werblow
Open Access


This paper estimates the marginal cost of saving a life using age- and gender-specific health care expenditures and mortality rates of the 26 Swiss cantons for the period 1997 to 2006. It shows almost triple the marginal cost of saving a life for women as compared to men, reflecting a lower marginal elasticity of medical inputs, a lower mortality rate and higher spending on health care for women. Medical technology does not differ across cantons while the marginal cost of saving a life does. Wealthy cantons spend more on saving a life at the margin and show a smaller gender gap in longevity.


Marginal cost of saving a life value of a statistical life gender health production regional diversity 


H11 I12 I18 J16 


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Copyright information

© Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Felder
    • 1
  • Andreas Werblow
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of EconomicsDuisburg-Essen UniversityEssenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Business and EconomicsDresden University of TechnologyDresdenGermany

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