Economic Value of Life

Topics: Unemployment, Progressive tax, Economics Pages: 3 (1103 words) Published: March 7, 2007
The loss of a human life is very important, not only is it an ethical issue but it is also an economic one. The incident that occurred on the busy street where a person was involved in a fatal accident was crucial and critical for the local government. Whether the government should invest their finances to correct the bend in the road will be analysed in this report.

It is hard to put an economic value on life, but for economic purposes a price must be put on life so that the government can calculate their decisions carefully. For the government there is a cost for every additional person brought into the province, but these expenditures are offset by any positive contributions that the individual makes to the economy. For example, if there is a man who earns a maximum of $2,500 per annum then at the age 18, his future expected earnings would be $41,000 and expected expenditures would be $13,000 which leaves him with a $29,000 surplus (Dublin, 1927). These calculations are only for income earnings and there are other factors to consider.

One person may not seem like a lot but the accumulation of the loss of people can affect the economy. With the loss of one person in society, the government loses that much tax revenue for social spending. The counter argument for this statement is that the tax revenue will no longer be needed seeing as there is one less person for the government to care for. One factor that would need to be looked at is the income of the person, or if he even has an income. For example, if the person who loses their life was unemployed, then the loss would be a benefit to society, because the person would have likely to have been drawing money from the government via unemployment insurance. Contrastingly, if the person is in a big income bracket, there will be excess tax revenue for the government who could spend the money on other social programs such as health care and law enforcement that benefit society as a whole. For example, if...

References: Behan D.F. (2007). Donald F. Behan - Consulting Agency: Determining the
Economic Value of Human Life. Retrieved February 10th, 2007, from
Broome, J. (1985). "The Economic Value of Life." Economica, 52, 281-294. Retrieved February 9th, 2007, from
Dublin, Louis I and Alfred J. Lakota. (1927). "The Money Value of Life and Life Extension." American Journal of Public Health, volume 17, 6. Retrieved February 13th, 2007, from
The Statistical Value of Life. Retrieved February 10th, 2007, from
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Life Values Essay
  • The Value of Life Essay
  • Value Of Life Essay
  • Essay on Value Of Life
  • ECONOMICS Research Paper
  • Essay about The Value to Life
  • Economics Essay
  • economics Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free