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Precautionary principle as a rule of choice with optimism on windfall gains and pessimism on catastrophic losses

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Author Info

  • Basili, Marcello
  • Chateauneuf, Alain
  • Fontini, Fulvio

Abstract

The paper investigates a decision-making process involving both risk and ambiguity. Differently from existing papers [Basili, M., Chateauneuf, A., Fontini, F., 2005. Choices under ambiguity with familiar and unfamiliar outcomes, Theory and Decision 58, 195-207; Chichilnisky, G., 2000. Axiomatic approach to choice under uncertainty with catastrophic risks. Resources and Energy Economics 22, 221-231; Chichilnisky, G., 2002. In: El-Shaarawi, A.,H., Piegorsch, W.W. (Eds.), Catastropic Risks. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics, vol. 1. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK, pp. 274-279], we assume that, in a Choquet Expected Utility framework, the decision-maker is pessimistic with respect to unfamiliar (catastrophic) losses, optimistic with respect to unfamiliar (windfall) gains and ambiguity-neutral with respect to the familiar world. A representation of the decision-maker's choice is obtained that mimics the Restricted Bayes-Hurwicz Criterion. In this way a characterization of the Precautionary Principle is introduced for decision-making processes under ambiguity with catastrophic losses and/or windfall gains.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 485-491

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:3:p:485-491

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Ambiguity Risk Choquet Integral Restricted Bayes-Hurwicz Criterion Precautionary Principle;

References

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  1. Claude HENRY & Marc HENRY, 2002. "Formalization and Applications of the Precuationary Principle," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  4. Ulrich Schmidt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Explaining preference reversal with third-generation prospect theory," Discussion Papers 2005-19, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  5. Marcello Basili & Alain Chateauneuf & Fulvio Fontini, 2004. "Choices under ambiguity with familiar and unfamiliar outcomes," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques b04115, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  6. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 2000. "An axiomatic approach to choice under uncertainty with catastrophic risks," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 221-231, July.
  7. Moshe Levy & Haim Levy, 2002. "Prospect Theory: Much Ado About Nothing?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(10), pages 1334-1349, October.
  8. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
  9. Gollier, Christian & Jullien, Bruno & Treich, Nicolas, 2000. "Scientific progress and irreversibility: an economic interpretation of the 'Precautionary Principle'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 229-253, February.
  10. Dow, James & Werlang, Sérgio Ribeiro da Costa, 1992. "Nash equilibrium under knightian uncertainty: breaking-down backward induction," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 186, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  11. Nathalie Etchart-Vincent, 2004. "Is Probability Weighting Sensitive to the Magnitude of Consequences? An Experimental Investigation on Losses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 217-235, 05.
  12. Eichberger, Jurgen & Kelsey, David, 2000. "Non-Additive Beliefs and Strategic Equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 183-215, February.
  13. Claude Henry & Marc Henry, 2002. "Formalization and applications of the precautionary principles," Discussion Papers 0102-22, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fontini, Fulvio & Umgiesser, Georg & Vergano, Lucia, 2010. "The role of ambiguity in the evaluation of the net benefits of the MOSE system in the Venice lagoon," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 1964-1972, August.
  2. BRECHET, Thierry & THENIE, Julien & ZEIMES, Thibaut & ZUBER, Stéphane, . "The benefits of cooperation under uncertainty: the case of climate change," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2435, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Marcello Basili, 2008. "The global strategy to cope with H5N1: the property rights caveat," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 0908, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
  4. Aldred, Jonathan, 2013. "Justifying precautionary policies: Incommensurability and uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 132-140.

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