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The value of life and the value of population


This paper first distinguishes structured and unstructured approaches to valuing life. The unstructured approach bases its valuations on people’s raw preferences, whereas the structured approach imposes a theoretical framework about the structure of value. The paper recommends the structured approach. This opens the way to considering the value of adding people to the population. The paper examines a common intuition that adding people is not in itself valuable, and explains the difficulties this intuition encounters.

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Correspondence to John Broome.

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Broome, J. The value of life and the value of population. J Popul Econ 9, 3–18 (1996).

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  • Utility Function
  • Structure Approach
  • Road Safety
  • Safe Option
  • Risky Option