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Maxwell School

Maxwell Policy Research Symposium

Making Sense of Safety

Greenberg House, Washington, DC
April 2, 2003

What difference does it make to economic researchers and policymakers if benefits/costs of health and safety enhancing programs differ by age, wealth, sex, race, or hazard measure? Most of the previous research has been on average costs or benefits; should the distribution or heterogeneity of costs or benefits matter?

This one-day invitational conference was sponsored by the Center for Policy Research and the Department of Economics, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.

These papers have been published in a special issue of the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Vol. 27, No. 3, December 2003. Click on journal contents. If your academic institution has a subscription you will be able to access the full text.

John D. Graham, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Budget and Management (OMB), delivered the keynote address.

The last presentation was a conversation with Douglas Holtz-Eakin, newly appointed director of the Congressional Budget Office.


  • W. Kip Viscusi, Harvard Law School, Racial Differences in the Value of Life.
  • Kenneth Chay, University of California, Carlos Dobkin, University of California, and Michael Greenstone, University of Chicago, The Clean Air Act of 1970 and Adult Mortality.
  • John D. Leeth, Bentley College and John Ruser, U.S. Department of Commerce, Compensating Wage Differentials for Fatal and Non-Fatal Injury Risk by Race and Gender.
  • John F. Morrall III, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Saving Lives: A Review of the Record.
  • Dan A. Black and Thomas J. Kniesner, Syracuse University, On the Measurement of Job Risk in Hedonic Wage Models.