Viscusi Interviewed

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Region Focus interviews Kip Viscusi.  Here is one good bit:

…in the case of Superfund cleanups of hazardous
wastes, the people who benefit from the cleanups are
not paying the costs directly and thus demand the most
stringent standards possible. The result is that the median
cost per cancer case averted is about $7 billion. It’s off the
charts because you are using the responsible parties’ money
to clean up the site. In contrast, if you look at the amount of
money people are willing to pay for houses that are not
exposed to hazardous waste risks, you don’t observe that
kind of large trade-off at all. It’s more like $5 million rather
than $7 billion. Similarly, the premium that workers require
to work in relatively dangerous jobs is a lot less than what
government agencies spend on regulations.


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