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Le calcul de la valeur statistique d'une vie humaine

  • Georges Dionne
  • Martin Lebeau

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 70, 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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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1041.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1041
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