The Value of Life: An Exercise for Students of Introductory Economics

23 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2011

Date Written: October 1, 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: teaching high school economics, introductory economics

JEL Classification: A13, A21, A22

Suggested Citation

Giuntini, Guido, The Value of Life: An Exercise for Students of Introductory Economics (October 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1972349 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1972349

Guido Giuntini (Contact Author)

Boise State University ( email )

1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83716
United States
4125253909 (Phone)

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