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Risk Equity

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  • Viscusi, W Kip

Abstract

Risk equity serves as the purported rationale for a wide range of inefficient policy practices, such as the concern that hypothetical individual risks not be too great. This paper proposes an alternative risk equity concept in terms of equitable trade-offs rather than equity in risk levels. Equalizing the cost per life saved across policy contexts will save additional lives and will give fair treatment to risks arising in a variety of domains. Equitable trade-offs will also benefit minorities who currently are disadvantaged by politically based inefficient policies. Copyright 2000 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Viscusi, W Kip, 2000. "Risk Equity," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 843-871, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:29:y:2000:i:2:p:843-71
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/468097
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    Cited by:

    1. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Mad cows, terrorism and junk food: Should public policy reflect perceived or objective risks?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 234-248, March.
    2. Sven Hansson, 2007. "Social decisions about risk and risk-taking," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 29(4), pages 649-663, December.
    3. Barns, Sandra A. & Cameron, Michael P. & Gibson, John & Lim, Steven & Marsh, Dan & Scrimgeour, Frank G. & Tressler, John, 2004. "Valuing the Risk of Death and Injury from Landmines in Thailand," 2004 Conference, June 25-26, 2004, Blenheim, New Zealand 97797, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    4. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala & Henrik Jaldell, 2012. "Do administrators have the same priorities for risk reductions as the general public?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 79-95, August.
    6. James Hammitt & Nicolas Treich, 2007. "Statistical vs. identified lives in benefit-cost analysis," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 45-66, August.
    7. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2006. "Mad Cows, Terrorism and Junk Food: Should Public Policy Reflect Subjective or Objective Risks?," Working Papers in Economics 194, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    8. Thomas J. Kniesner & W. Kip Viscusi, 2005. "Value of a Statistical Life: Relative Position vs. Relative Age," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 142-146, May.
    9. Cameron, Michael P. & Gibson, John & Helmers, Kent & Lim, Steven & Scrimgeour, Frank G. & Tressler, John & Vaddanak, Kien, 2005. "Value of Life and Measuring the Benefits of Landmine Clearance in Cambodia," 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia 137799, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    10. Gibson, John & Barns, Sandra & Cameron, Michael & Lim, Steven & Scrimgeour, Frank & Tressler, John, 2007. "The Value of Statistical Life and the Economics of Landmine Clearance in Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 512-531, March.

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