An interesting debate on Marginal Revolution. Of course, the debate is as old as humanity. Still, people in our generation had to really look at the arguments because of how COVID impacted different people based on age.
So the lives of high wealth, low human capital individuals, including older individuals, are overweighted by traditional economic metrics, given that “naive” WTP measures do not adjust for the “wealth transfer upon death” externality. That is some but by no means all of the elderly. Their willingness to pay for risk reduction may be as high as the WTP of the young, but in social terms that does not mean their lives are equally valuable.