Valuing lives equally: Distributional weights for welfare analysis
AbstractCost-benefit analysis as performed by governments and public-sector organisations typically applies equal weights to changes in incomes accruing to individuals from projects even when there is no proposal to compensate losers. One reason for the use of equal weights despite the absence of a theoretical justification for this practice is that all weights appear arbitrary. This note proposes the use of weights based on two axioms: (1) that all lives should be equally valued, and (2) that the monetary value attached to a person's life should be his or her own. This implies weights that are proportional to the reciprocals of the values of statistical lives
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.
Volume (Year): 90 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet
Other versions of this item:
- E.Somanathan, 2003. "Valuing lives equally: Distributional weights for welfare analysis," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 03-02, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
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