Mortality Risks Induced by Economic Expenditures

Authors

  • Ralph L. Keeney

    Corresponding author
    1. Systems Science Department, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-0021.
      Mailing address: 101 Lombard Street, Suite 704W, San Francisco, California 94111.
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Mailing address: 101 Lombard Street, Suite 704W, San Francisco, California 94111.

Abstract

Existing evidence shows that lower incomes are associated with higher mortality risks. This paper examines the implications for fatalities when the relationship is interpreted as an induced relationship, meaning that lower incomes will on average lead to higher mortality risks. A model is developed for estimating the number of fatalities possibly induced by economic expenditures. This model accounts for different allocations of the expenditures on family units with varying income levels. Illustrative calculations provide insights about the possible significance of fatalities induced by economic expenditures. These results suggest that some expensive regulations and programs intended to save lives may actually lead to increased fatalities. Important caveats to reduce the likelihood of misinterpreting or misusing the results are included.

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