The policy debate over how best to respond to COVID-19 centers around whether the costs of social distancing and other measures are justified in terms of the lives saved. The key metric used to compare economic costs and lives saves is the value of a statistical life. This concept captures what people and policy makers pay to reduce mortality risks. Estimates of the value of statistical life have been used widely in transportation and environmental policy making and now are being used to assess responses to COVID-19 around the world.
The Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis is offering a quick way to get up to speed on this concept: a conversation between Kip Viscusi, leading authority in value of statistical life analysis, former SBCA president, and author of the book Pricing Lives: Guideposts for a Safer Society and Tom Kniesner, editor of the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis.
Viscusi is the most sought-after expert on this topic. Not only does he bring a highly analytical mind to the issues, but his presentation style makes it easy to grasp the issues and implications of alternatives. Kniesner brings an editor’s eye to the conversation with a focus on applications and supporting evidence.
This event is offered free of charge, but you will have to register to participate. This is the first of a new series of online offerings from the Society. Please watch our newsletter and website to learn about future events.
The Society relies on the support of individuals and organizations who are active in the field of benefit-cost analysis. If you find events like this conversation with Kip to be useful, please consider joining the Society or making a donation.