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When should expenditure per life saved vary?

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Abstract:

Huge variations in expenditure per life saved have been documented in the USA, Sweden, and Japan. Using an original-position argument, this paper examines normative rationales that might permit departures from equalization of marginal lifesaving investments. The conclusion is that adjustment for identifiability, as reflected in strict benefit-cost analysis, is not justified yet adjustments for consideration of longevity, quality of life and productivity are compelling. It is less clear as to whether factors such as ability to pay, voluntariness and catastrophic potential should influence lifesaving expenditures.

Keywords: COST-EFFECTIVENESS; RAWLSIAN VEIL OF IGNORANCE; VALUE OF LIFE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13669870210122705

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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