SHERP

Valuing Particular as Opposed to Statistical Life

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Authors
Lee, M.W.Jones; Sugden, R
Issue Date
1988-07
Publisher
Seoul Journal of Economics
Citation
Seoul Journal of Economics 1 (No. 2 1988): 163-170
Keywords
value of life; statistical death; particular death; Von Neumann-Morgenstern Utility
Abstract
There is a remarkable consensus among those economists who have investigated the "value of life" that their analysis should be used only in relation to statistical death (the exposure of a number of people to small independent incremental risks of death) and not in relation to particular death (the death of a given, identified individual). This is so, at least for those economists who have adopted the "willingness to pay approach" and who have defined the value of avoiding one statistical death as the aggregate compensating variation for the corresponding small changes in individual risks. Thus, for example, Schelling (1968) writes:
It is not the worth of human life that I shall discuss, but of 'life-saving', of preventing death. And it is not a particular death but a statistical death. What is it worth to reduce the probability of death - the statistical frequency of death - within some identifiable group of people none of whom expects to die except eventually?
ISSN
1225-0279
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/835
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute of Economics Research (경제연구소)Seoul Journal of EconomicsSeoul Journal of Economics vol.01(2) (Summer 1988)
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