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Assessment of Seismic Indirect Losses Based on Utility Curves

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Document pages: 19 pages

Abstract: In the process of quantifyingoptimum seismic design parameters, the losses implying the failure of thesystem must be assessed. Intangibles such as human lives may lie among indirectlosses. In this paper, we propose a model to calculate the value of the investment that society should be willing to make for saving lives. In order to do this,we analyze both individual and social problems. However, special treatment isgiven to the individual problem where the value of the life of a human being isinferred by what the person should be willing to pay or willing to accept toreduce the risk of dying. Due to the use of utility curves in the calculationof this kind of intangible, we pay special attention to shape and requirementconditions of these curves. We also pay attention when personal impact andlegacies or bequests are considered in utility curves. The results are shownthrough some applications, especially in the computation of optimum seismicdesign coefficients at a low seismicity site.

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