The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

294. W. Kip Viscusi, Risk Equity, 08/2000; subsequently published in Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, June 2000, 843-871.

Abstract: Risk equity serves as the purported rationale for a wide range of inefficient policy practices, such as the concern that hypothetical individual risks not be too great. This paper proposes an alternative risk equity concept in terms of equitable tradeoffs rather than equity in risk levels. Equalizing the cost per life saved across policy contexts will save additional lives and will give fair treatment to risks arising in a variety of domains. Equitable tradeoffs will also benefit minorities who currently are disadvantaged by politically based inefficient policies.

294: PDF