The Value of Life: An Exercise for Students of Introductory Economics
Shady Side Academy Senior School
October 1, 2011
This paper presents an exercise for introductory economics classes for high school and undergraduate students. The students create a “Value of Human Life” function. Assigning value to human life is a necessity in many situations, from tort law to the compensation of terrorism victims. Is it possible to assign a fair value to a human life? Do all lives have the same value? Through a combination of ethical, economic and mathematical analysis, the class will create a function that determines the value of a human life. At the end of the exercise it will be possible to determine individual values by using real life examples. The exercise is an excellent way to introduce basic economic concepts and basic mathematical and statistical tools.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: teaching high school economics, introductory economics
JEL Classification: A13, A21, A22working papers series
Date posted: December 15, 2011
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