Is life and safety a luxury good?

1500 words essay with 6-10 referrences (chicago style)

Questions to be answered in the essay:

Why might we wish to put a monetary value on life? If we don’t, what should inform policy decisions that need to trade-off cost with improvements in safety? Evidence suggests drastically different valuations of life in different countries. Why? Is safety a luxury good? If we take these discrepant values literally, how might it affect the location of industries (e.g., toxic waste) on a global scale? What is your own opinion on all of this?

Suggested reading

  1.  “Compensating differentials for risk of death in Australia’ by P. Miller et al, Economic Record, 1997.
  2. “Fatal trade-offs: public and private responsibilities for risk”, by W. Kip Viscusi, 1992. Pay extra attention to chapters 1 and 2, but also look at chapters 3, 4 and 9.

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