From Diye to Value of Statistical Life: A Case Study for the Islamic Republic of Iran
Victor Brajer California State University, Fullerton Morteza Rahmatian California State University, Fullerton In this paper, we attempt to explore the influence that cultural factors can have on VSL and α-WTP. We do so by considering the value of a statistical life in the developing country of Iran, and examining a specific cultural factor directly connected to this value--the Diye. The Diye is a form of financial compensation offered in cases of unintentional death (and injury) to the victim's family, paid by the perpetrator. With the payment being made after the death of a specific individual, it obviously represents an ex ante valuation measure. In the first half of the paper, we describe the tradition of the Diye and use it to estimate a modern-day VSL for Iran. We find that this approach generates a value of approximately $45,000 (US). This value is actually very close to what one would generate with the more traditional (western) human capital approach, which of course also captures an ex ante valuation and is generally recognized as providing a lower bound for VSL in the developed nations.
07 Mar 2010