Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 65–85 | Cite as

Precautionary behavior and willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction: Searching for the expected relationship

  • Mikael Svensson


This paper examines within-sample correlation between six different precautionary behaviors and stated willingness to pay for a mortality risk reduction. The paper also shows estimates of the value of a statistical life based on seat belt and bicycle helmet use as well as based on the stated willingness to pay for a risk reduction in traffic mortality. Contrary to the theoretical expectations, no correlation is found between precautionary behavior and stated willingness to pay. One major explanation is that females and the elderly take more precaution, but state a lower WTP for a risk reduction. The estimates of VSL from the different approaches are $11.0 million, $5.0 million and $2.8 million from stated WTP, bicycle helmet use and seat belt use, respectively.


Value of a statistical life Stated preference Risk behavior 


D6 D8 I1 



I would like to thank an anonymous reviewer, Glenn Blomquist, Peter Martinsson, Magnus Johannesson, Krister Hjalte, Lars Hultkrantz and Björn Sund for valuable comments and support. Financial support from the Swedish Rescue Services Agency is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Swedish Business SchoolÖrebro UniversityÖrebroSweden
  2. 2.Centre for Research on Child and Adolescent Mental HealthKarlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

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