Price of life

From Academic Kids

In neoclassical economics, the price of life' is the only arbiter of value of life. See that article for more details on the various issues involved in placing price value on life. In such price decisions, according to The Economist, the disability-adjusted life year is "the standard yardstick". In other form of economics, there are other ways of assigning value than to set a price in commodity markets - the rules and adjudications of which are themselves reflective of non-price value judgements.

Also according to The Economist, even the DALY-based price tends "to vary from study to study.. even if...basic parameters such as the value of life and the discount rate were clear-cut, the cost-benefit approach... requires forecasts...often far into the future...always prone to error... condom distribution combined with treatment for sex workers... would entail a cost of just $4/year for each disability-adjusted life year saved, the implied ratio of benefits to costs is nearly 500 - and this is assuming a value of life based on GDP per head, that is significantly lower than the figure of $100,000 US which the Copenhagen Consensus panel said it preferred to apply." - The Economist special report, Copenhagen Consensus, June 5th 2004, page 64-65.

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