A Caltech Library Service

Value of Injuries in the Northridge Earthquake

Porter, Keith and Shoaf, Kim and Seligson, Hope (2006) Value of Injuries in the Northridge Earthquake. Earthquake Spectra, 22 (2). pp. 555-563. ISSN 8755-2930. doi:10.1193/1.2194529.

See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The economic equivalent value of deaths and injuries in the 1994 Northridge earthquake has not previously been calculated, although number of injuries by category of treatment has. Using dollar-equivalent values for injuries accepted and used by the U.S. government for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of risk-mitigation efforts, the value of injuries in the 1994 Northridge earthquake is estimated to be $1.3 to 2.2 billion in 1994 (90% confidence bounds, equivalent to $1.8 to 2.9 billion in 2005). This is equivalent to 3–4% of the estimated $50 billion (in 1994) estimated direct capital losses and direct business interruption losses. If injuries in the 1994 Northridge earthquake are representative of injuries in future U.S. events, then the economic value of future earthquake injuries—the amount that the U.S. government would deem appropriate to expend to prevent all such injuries—is on the order of $200 million per year (in 2005 constant dollars). Of this figure, 96% is associated with nonfatal injuries, an issue overlooked by current experimental research. Given the apparently high cost of this type of loss, this appears to represent an important gap in the present earthquake research agenda.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:©2006 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (Received 10 April 2004; accepted 13 September 2005)
Subject Keywords:earthquakes; disasters; risk analysis; socio-economic effects
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:PORes06b
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5036
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:22 Sep 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 20:22

Repository Staff Only: item control page