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Optimum Seismic Protection for New Building Construction in Eastern Metropolitan Areas: A Review of Recent Studies on the Economic Value of a Human Life.
Ackroyd, M. H.; Cornell, C. A.
National Science Foundation, Washington, DC. Engineering and Applied Science., March 1973, 17 p.
Identifying Number(s)
Factors pertaining to the problem of quantifying the value of human life are enumerated, and some of the schemes and rationale that have been used in such quantification are reviewed. Factors considered in the loss of life involve direct economic costs such as hospitalization and legal services as well as indirect economic costs such as loss of future production and consumption. Also considered are non-economic losses such as the suffering of a bereaved family. Distinctions are drawn between economically motivated questions and those based on social and moral values. Other issues concern the difference between a statistical life and a specific individual, and scale effect (loss of X number of lives per X number of events). A survey of studies made in the U.S. and France on the value of human life is presented. Specific schemes used to assign a dollar value to a human life include assessments for traffic accidents, air crashes, and castastrophic events. In evaluating money costs due to illness or death, several calculations are given. It is noted that additional factors need to be considered in basing a valuation of human life on expected lifetime earnings. Results of various studies' estimates of the value of human life are presented in tabular form.
Human life value assessment; Earthquake resistant structures; Risk analysis; Values; Casualties; Earthquake engineering; Statistical data; Human factors engineering; Economic factors