W. Kip Viscusi

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risk, cost-benefit analysis, risk analysis, health regulation, safety, value of a statistical life


Health Law and Policy | Law


After three decades of experience with extensive government regulation and oversight of health, safety and environmental matters, we have reason to believe that those measures have largely failed to fulfill their initial promise, but many of the initial promises were infeasible goals of a "zero-risk" society. Economic findings with respect to risk-risk tradeoffs highlight the fallacies inherent in government's zero-risk mentality. Agencies that make an unbounded financial commitment to safety frequently are sacrificing individual lives. There continues to be major opportunities to improve regulatory performance by targeting existing inefficiencies and using market mechanisms (rather than strict command-and-control mechanisms) to achieve regulatory goals.



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