DP12814 The Value of a Statistical Life in a Dictatorship: Evidence from Stalin
We examine the value of a statistical life (VSL) in inter-war Soviet Union.
Our approach requires to address the preferences of Stalin. We model these
on the basis of the policy of statistical repression, which was an integral part
of the Great Terror. We use regional variation in the victims generated by
this policy to structurally estimate the value that Stalin would have been
willing to accept for a reduction in citizens’ fatality risk. Our estimate of
this value is $43,151, roughly 6% of the VSL estimate in 1940’s US and 29%
of the VSL estimate in modern India.