Valuing lives equally: defensible premise or unwarranted compromise?

Rachel M. Baker, Susan Chilton, Michael Jones-Lee, Hugh Metcalf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-138
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Risk and Uncertainty
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008


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