VOSLValue of a Statistical Life
VOSLVolume of the Sacred Law
VOSLVariable Operating & Safety Level
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We adopted the concept of the "Value of a Statistical Life" (VOSL) which is a less controversial approach to valuing human life.
(ii) current variations in safety valued on the basis of the current VOSL, [m.sub.0];
In connection with (iii) it should be noted that insofar as per capita income grows through time--so that [y.sub.t] exceeds [y.sub.0]--then setting aside the implications of any difference between [[Pi].sub.0] and [[Pi].sub.t], the future VOSL, [m.sub.t], will exceed the current VOSL, [m.sub.0].
Now consider the product of the discount factor, [MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSION NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and the future VOSL, [m.sub.t], discussed in the previous section.
(iii) future variations in safety valued on the basis of the future VOSL, [m.sub.t], but then subject to precisely the same discount factor as is applied to future variations in income.
The result given in (11) indicates that, as an alternative to valuing future safety in terms of the future VOSL, mt, and then subjecting the resultant benefit measure to the same discount factor as is applicable to future variations in income, one could equivalently value future safety effects in terms of the current VOSL, [m.sub.0], and then apply the discount factor [Beta][([[Pi].sub.0]/[[Pi].sub.t]).sub.1 - [Alpha]][[v([y.sub.t])/ v([y.sub.0])].sup.[Alpha]] to future safety benefits.
It therefore transpires that for those cases of the social welfare function specified in (6) that are bracketed by the utilitarian and log-linear forms, impartiality entails that future safety effects valued in terms of the current VOSL, [m.sub.0], should be subject to effective annual discount rates that will, at most, differ very little from zero, so that to all intents and purposes the `equal valuation and no discounting' prescription will be valid, at least as a good approximation.
If this is so, then it is clear that if a justification is to be found for discounting future safety benefits valued in terms of the current VOSL, [m.sub.0], at a rate that differs much from zero, then such a justification could only be provided in the form of a case against impartiality and in favour of the pure discounting of future utilities per se, so that [Beta] was significantly less than one.
Recent published estimates for the VOSL have been considerably higher than the central value used here; this has been historically the case for estimates derived in U.S.
Because individuals with pre-existing disease are more susceptible to adverse effects from air pollution, and deaths are not solely additional but consist of deaths brought forward and additional deaths, valuing years of life lost would be preferable to estimating the VOSL per se.
This value is not, however, a true VOSL value but rather an adjusted estimate of VOSL allowing for an estimated minimum reduction in life expectancy (based on current value judgments) and possible maximum reduction in the quality of life because of the health effects of air pollutants.