CHDS Faculty Seminars at Duke

Head shot of James Hammitt lecturing

CHDS’s James Hammitt presented two seminars at Duke University. The first, “Fair Innings: The Utilitarian and Prioritarian Value of Risk Reduction over a Whole Lifetime,” describes some alternative theoretical approaches to defining and estimating the “social value of risk reduction,” i.e., the societal benefit of reducing mortality risk to an individual, and how it depends on the individual’s age, income, and other factors. The presentation was followed by a discussion and commentary by Matthew Adler, a Duke School of Law professor and collaborator on the work.

The second seminar, “Premature Deaths, Statistical Lives, and Years of Life Lost: Identification, Quantification, and Valuation of Mortality Risks,” described and explained some common fallacies about what can be known about risks of exposure to environmental hazards (such as air pollution) and how the economic value of reducing such hazards is calculated. Attendees included environmental health researchers from Duke University and the local research community.

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