M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 5

Is the Price Right? Reexamining the Relationship Between Age and the Value of Statistical Life

Daniel Eric Herz-Roiphe

2010

Abstract

“Insanity,” Albert Einstein once noted, “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So when the eminently sane Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Christine Todd Whitman got up to speak to an audience of seniors on May 7, 2003, in Baltimore, Maryland—the sixth and final stop on a “listening tour” designed to engage with the elderly on environmental regulation—she knew what was coming. At each of the past five events, Whitman and her colleagues had been treated to a barrage of protests and complaints from a well-mobilized army of indignant senior citizens. As the circus gathered attention, the tour—conceived as a form of community outreach—was quickly becoming an embarrassment.

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