Monetary Values of Life and Health

by Bob Buehler, (M.ASCE), Chf.; Flood Control Branch, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tenn.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 1, Pg. 29-47

Document Type: Journal Paper


Sensible values for life and health are proposed as a substitute for the current practice of using virtually infinite value in some engineering decisions, e.g., high dam design, and zero value in other decisions, e.g., flood control evaluation. Recommended human values are based on the lifestream of earnings that would be foregone in the event of death or disability. Computing procedure is illustrated by examples. Results are compared with other sources. The technique is considered adequate for immediate use and until something better is devised.

Subject Headings: Value engineering | Lifeline systems | Dams | Hydraulic design | Floods | Human factors

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