I bet you have seen before some article about how some economist calculates the value of things.

For example, if you prefer not to have health insurance worth $100 a year, and that means you are X% more likely to die in 20 years, then some number-massaging will tell you you value your life at $Y (the numbers are not really important).

Here is an example in Slate magazine which includes a rather clear explanation of how this process works.

It shows that a Chicago drug dealer values its life at between $50000 and $100000.

Now, this is all based on the fact that that person chooses to go on his life in a certain way for a certain amount of money. However, I am pretty sure if offered $100000 or life, he would choose life.

Since that choice is just as his as the one used to reach that number, it's clear that human beings are incoherent, or maybe that the difference in value between a 10% chance of death and a 100% chance of death is way larger than economists estimate.

Personally, I can't even think of an amount of money that would make me take a 50% chance of death. But I am aware that, for example, my diet causes me a certain risk, maybe 1% or 10% (no idea).

How about you? Do you believe in economists?