What I said:
The average economic value of a person’s life is $10 million. Families and friends would work hard enough to earn $250 billion, cumulatively, to get 25k of their loved ones back.
What statisticians say:
The calculation — known as Value of a Statistical Life or VSL — is the amount people are willing to spend to cut risk enough to save one life. The VSL at most federal agencies, developed over several decades, is about $10 million. If a new regulation is estimated to avoid one death a year, it can cost up to $10 million and still make economic sense.
That was pretty damn good for a number I pulled out of my ass. It’s very fulfilling, as a dualback, to be able to guess what value other people put on inscrutably sensitive things. It combines the enjoyment of science and domination.
Even though I’m generally quite untalented at what I do IRL, I’ve been very good at predicting the future revenues of companies with relatively limuted information. Maybe this talent is related to performance in the figure weights subtest. It’s too bad superforecasting is a hobby and not a job, because I could really dig into developing this type of intuition as a skill. I.e. “What would someone else pay for this shirt?” all the way up to “What would China pay for the South China Sea with standard 10-year shipping?”