Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The most dangerous job on earth?

I hadn't realised what an insanely dangerous job it is being President of the USA. Four sitting presidents (just less than 10% of the total) have been murdered while in office, something I think we can fairly class as a job-related death. Since there have been Presidents of the USA since 1789, I calculate a death rate per 100,000 worker-years of 1826. This means that being President of the USA is fifteen times more dangerous than being a timber-cutter (the most dangerous normal occupation in the USA and nearly eighteen times more dangerous than being a fisherman in the UK. It is, however, safer than being a member of the Black Gangster Disciples during the period surveyed by Levitt & Venkatesh - even during the non-war periods, footsoldiers experienced a death rate of 4980/100K worker years, although L&V note that other gang research in Boston found a death rate for crack gangs there which was more or less in line with being President of the USA.

Presumably this fairly obvious piece of arithmetic has been done for about a thousand op-ed columns already, but I hadn't seen it before.

Update: Much more back-of-envelope calculation of crude actuarial tables, in comments. Is the true death rate for Popes 427 per 100,000 pope/years or as high as 2100? Is a fisherman a fisherman while he's not fishing, and how should we look at military death rates? Is it more dangerous to be a soldier in Iraq or a King of England?

Further update: OK, thanks to some sterling work from "Robotslave" we've got presidents, Prime ministers, US and Iraqi Army, French and English monarchs and Hezbollah. Anyone else wanting to contribute, dig in.

Extra update: On the other hand, I am getting sceptical about some of this data. Surely if four US Presidents had really been killed, we would expect to see at least twelve who had just been wounded. I can only think of one (Reagan). Which suggests that the truth about JFK is that he is still alive and his death was faked by Lancet investigators who hate America.
66 comments this item posted by the management 12/18/2008 05:27:00 AM

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