A question we've been hearing lately: "Is it worth it to shut down the economy to save lives?" Or "Should we let people die to save the economy?" The only way to answer this question is to figure out what a human life is worth ... in dollars. This happens all the time. In fact, U.S. government federal agencies have a very specific answer. They say a human life is worth about $10 million.
Today on the show, how economists came up with that number, why that number needs to exist, and an answer to the question: Is it worth it to restart the economy right now? (No. The answer is No.)
Saturday, 18 April 2020
Lives vs the economy
From NPR's Planet Money comes this podcast on Lives Vs. the Economy. Hosts Sarah Gonzalez and Kenny Malone interview Betsey Stevenson and W. Kip Viscusi on how we value a life.