Extreme Heat and the Value of a Statistical Life

Last registered on May 30, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Extreme Heat and the Value of a Statistical Life
Initial registration date
May 29, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 30, 2024, 5:45 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

University at Buffalo School of Law

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Vanderbilt Law School

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This study uses a survey questionnaire to evaluate U.S. respondents' preferences over heat and other types of mortality risks.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Masterman, Clayton and W. Kip Viscusi. 2024. "Extreme Heat and the Value of a Statistical Life." AEA RCT Registry. May 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.13715-1.0
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcome of interest is which policies respondents vote for. Those votes indicate relative preferences between different types of mortality risks, which we will use to estimate relative valuations.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We will use the outcome of interest - the preferences between policies - to construct an estimate of the value of statistical life for heat risks.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The VSL is well-known and studied in traffic and cancer contexts. The relative risk preferences of individuals in our studies between those two causes of death and heat is used to derive the VSL for heat deaths by multiplying previously derived VSL by the relative preference for heat deaths.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The survey asks individuals to express preferences over different policies that reduce risks.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Individuals are randomized using a random number generator function in javascript. The javascript code is embedded in the survey, randomly assigning respondents as soon as they click the survey link.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Approximately 1,000 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
10,000 observations (10 per individual)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
5,000 observations will compare heat and cancer risks and 5,000 observations will compare heat and traffic risks.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Vanderbilt University Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
University at Buffalo Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number