The Elyan Sage tells us:
And although government cost-benefit analysis place very low value on children’s lives because of their limited economic contribution to society
And I have a strong feeling that’s not the way it works. Life valuations are worked out not by economic contribution. Rather, by the value that people, by their actions, seems to place on said lives. Given that to near all their children are by far the most valuable things in their lives the idea that this ends up with a low valuation of a child’s life seems absurd.
As it happens I think I can work out what he’s got wrong. The correct approach is to use VOLY – value of statistical life year. This would equate to Qualy in health care and would value children more highly than oldsters. Rightly.
The problem is that the background work to show quite how to do this has only just been done. The detailed surveys to give proper estimates have not been.
So, we end up using statistical value of a life. Which is a one life, one value, number. Which undervalues kiddies and over-so oldsters, given the just the one valuation.
But it’s still not based on economic contribution, it’s based upon willingness to pay to avoid that risk. So, he’s still hopelessly wrong.