How much would you pay to save a life?

How much would you pay to save a life?

Not necessarily your life, nor the life of someone you know or love. Just a life: Joe Bloggs, Jane Doe, the guy from the bus, the high school friend you don’t speak to any more.

Think of a figure, round it to the nearest hundred thousand, put a dollar sign in front, and we’re done.

With a simple, arbitrary sum that quantifies, to your mind, the existence of another human, you’ve reached your own personal ‘value of life’.

It sounds callous, but this is essentially how government agencies have determined what you’re worth for more than two decades now.

The Value of Statistical Life (VoSL) was developed by the Ministry of Transport in 1991 as a way to measure the country’s loss of life in dollars.

The figure was initially set at $2 million, and was based on the findings of a survey that asked approximately 600 people what they would be willing to pay for various improvements in road safety.

From this, a value was determined to represent what an average person would be willing to pay to reduce the risk of death in road accidents.

In crude terms, the state had estimated it would be $235,000 better off for every person that didn’t die. Continue reading.

Source: The Wireless

Image: TVNZ

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