Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 205–217

Risk-taking activities and heterogeneity of job-risk tradeoffs

  • Joni Hersch
  • Todd S. Pickton

DOI: 10.1007/BF01207786

Cite this article as:
Hersch, J. & Pickton, T.S. J Risk Uncertainty (1995) 11: 205. doi:10.1007/BF01207786


Using data from a large national sample, this article examines how individual differences in risk attitudes affect wage-risk tradeoffs. Smoking and seat belt use are used as proxies for individual willingness to bear risk. Workers who by their behavior indicate a high value of safety-e.g., nonsmokers and seat belt wearers-receive a higher compensating differential per unit of job risk than do workers who engage in either one of the risky behaviors. For the overall sample, the implicit value of a lost workday injury is $79,632. This value ranges from $54,878 for smokers who do not wear a seat belt, to $102,552 for nonsmokers who wear a seat belt.

Key words

Smokingseat beltjob riskcompensating differentialsvalue of life

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joni Hersch
    • 1
  • Todd S. Pickton
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economics and FinanceUniversity of WyomingLaramie
  2. 2.Department of Economics and FinanceUniversity of WyomingLaramie