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Valuing lives equally: Defensible premise or unwarranted compromise?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rachel Baker, Professor Susan Chilton, Emeritus Professor Michael Jones-Lee, Dr Hugh Metcalf



This article examines the nature of the restrictions on the underlying social welfare function that would appear to be required in order to justify the application of a "common" Value of Statistical Life (VSL) for any particular hazard within a given society and considers the way in which the magnitude of this common VSL might relate to the values actually employed in practice. The article also considers the question of whether, by contrast, discounts or premia might legitimately be applied to the VSL in order to take account of factors such as age or current exposure to risk and explores the form that such discounts or premia might reasonably take. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Baker R, Chilton S, Jones-Lee M, Metcalf H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Risk and Uncertainty

Year: 2008

Volume: 36

Issue: 2

Pages: 125-138

Print publication date: 01/04/2008

ISSN (print): 0895-5646

ISSN (electronic): 1573-0476

Publisher: Springer New York LLC


DOI: 10.1007/s11166-008-9034-0


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