Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Review of the J-value literature Final report

Completed for HSE by Michael Spackman

This report is in response to a request by the HSE to review the 'J-value approach'.This is a method for objective assessment of health and safety spending, i.e. for comparing the costs and benefits of safety regulation, focusing on its potential contribution to regulatory decision making.

The report commends interdisciplinary interest in the analysis of costs and benefits of health and safety, and the fact that the J-value work has served to publicise differences in regulators' approaches to valuation.However, in terms of the focus of the review, it clearly concludes that the J-value is one of many ratios that could be used to define value for money,but the values that emerge from J-value estimation cannot sensibly rival the methods now used in UK Government and widely in other countries for valuing fatality risks.Most fundamentally, the report concludes thatthe J-Value and Life Quality Indexs adoption of strong assumptions about human preferences and behaviour leave it much less robust against informed criticism than currently established methods.

These conclusions were discussed amongst economists across UK Government departments with an interest in the valuing fatality risk and were broadly supported.

Review of the J-value literature Final report Completed for HSE by Michael Spackman

Approach used in HSE's Nuclear Directorate (ONR)

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