When I took Intro to Economics
, we had an interesting lecture on this subject. I'm not sure how much I agree with it, but the professor offered an equation
useful in calculating
, or at least approximating the value of a human life
Quite simple, really: just multiply the amount of money per person we're willing to spend to prevent a certain risk to a life by the odds against
that risk happening to any one particular person. If people are willing to spend that much, then a life is at least that valuable. If not, it is less. Rather cold
, but useful to those who can easily stomach such.
Current figures estimate that value at roughly $10,000,000, depending on the social awareness
of the risk and the tendency to fear it for potentially irrational
See also How precious can human life be? There are six billion people on the planet!