Handagama’s Ini Avan: Value life without prejudices or biases – Article featured in The Financial Times
Economists have worked hard to give a value to life. They have created a new branch of economics called ‘social economics’ – a way to look at economic issues by using apparatuses available in sociology – to examine the issue.
They have failed because the assessment of the value of life cannot be done objectively and therefore a unique valuation cannot be made. This is because of the wide disparity in the assessment by the person who owns the life – the supply side – and the assessment done by those who are around him – the demand side.
The person possessing the life will give the highest value to his life. But will the society around him give the same value to his life? Yes, if the valuations made by both parties are one and the same. But it is unlikely to be so, because societal valuation of life will depend on many factors – economic, social, psychological and political – that would not be the same as the valuation made by the person possessing the life.