The Value of Life and Health for Public Policy

12 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2003


Expenditure on health and safety is a substantial part of GDP, but public agencies in many countries, including Australia, have only qualitative views about the value of life and health. Also, despite considerable work by economists on the value of life and health in recent years, some important issues, such as the value of a healthy life-year, remain unresolved. This paper presents a framework for valuing life and health. It then draws on international and Australian research to estimate possible values for life, healthy life-years, and various chronic and acute health states for public policy purposes in Australia.

Suggested Citation

Abelson, Peter, The Value of Life and Health for Public Policy. Available at SSRN:

Peter Abelson (Contact Author)

Macquarie University ( email )

North Ryde
Sydney, New South Wales 2109

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