Friday, July 29, 2011

What's Your Life Worth?

The federal government is deeply invested in this question.  Many government agencies use the "value of a statistical life" to calculate whether new safety proposals pass cost-benefit muster.  For example, if a new airplane safety protocol would cost $100 million to implement and save $300 million worth of human lives, then the program is a pretty clear winner.  According to the federal government, the value of a statistical life for cost-benefit purposes is somewhere around $6 million:


Steve Clowney

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