Experts assess the use of VSLs and benefit-cost analysis for pandemic decision-making.
The lives saved by four more weeks of social distancing requirements outweigh the harms to the economy.
Over-reliance on the VSL measure often leads to excessive consideration and regulation of risk.
As a practical matter, the VSL is successful in balancing the benefits and costs of regulation.
Regulators must measure welfare using transparent methods before determining the policies themselves.
The VSL is necessarily based on market preferences that accurately reflect society’s valuation of risks and benefits.
The primary drawback of the VSL is that it fails to account for future generations’ valuation of benefits and costs.
Using the VSL to measure benefits promotes the interests of individuals who are affected by regulation.
Analysts debate how agencies should measure the benefits of reducing mortality.
It is time to reconsider the value of the VSL in policy analysis.