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Le calcul de la valeur statistique d’une vie humaine

  • Dionne, Georges

    ()

    (Chaire de recherche du Canada en gestion des risques, HEC Montréal)

  • Lebeau, Martin

    (Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail)

Our society faces many risks that affect human life. Cost-benefit analysis is a very popular project-evaluation tool for reducing these social risks. The government has to set projects or regulations whose benefits will outweigh costs. It is quite easy to evaluate costs but how to evaluate the benefits linked to protecting human life? Since the 1970s, many values of life have been estimated with different methods. The wide variability of the results range from 0,5 million up to 50 million ($US, 2000). The main goal of this study is to analyze the source of this variability in results. We also want to determine a reasonable value for public decision making. Résumé : Notre société fait face à de nombreux risques qui affectent des vies humaines. Les autorités publiques doivent donc déterminer le budget optimal à consacrer à chaque projet visant à diminuer ces risques sociaux. L’analyse avantages-coûts est un outil très utilisé pour l’évaluation de ces projets. La tâche du gouvernement est de mettre en place des projets ou des réglementations qui génèreront des bénéfices supérieurs aux coûts de leur implantation. Les coûts sont habituellement assez faciles à déterminer, mais comment évaluer les bénéfices reliés à la sauvegarde de vies humaines? Depuis les années soixante-dix, le nombre d’études réalisées sur la mesure de la valeur statistique d’une vie humaine (VSV) est impressionnant. Plusieurs valeurs ont été estimées, et ce, à l’aide de différentes méthodes. La difficulté des gouvernements à choisir une valeur provient de la grande variabilité dans les résultats obtenus. En effet, les VSV observées varient de 0,5 million de dollars jusqu’à 50 millions de dollars ($ US 2000). L’objectif principal de cet article est d’aider à comprendre d’où vient cette grande variabilité dans les résultats. Nous voulons aussi déterminer quelle valeur nous semble la plus raisonnable.

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Article provided by Société Canadienne de Science Economique in its journal L'Actualité Economique.

Volume (Year): 86 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (décembre)
Pages: 487-530

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Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:0042
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