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Safe Minimum Standards in Dynamic Resource Problems: Conditions for Living on the Edge of Risk

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  • Michael Margolis
  • Eric Nævdal

    ()

Abstract

Abstract Safe Minimum Standards (SMSs) have been advocated as a policy rule for environmental problems where uncertainty about risks and consequences are thought to be profound. This paper explores the rationale for such a policy within a dynamic framework and derives conditions for when SMS can be summarily dismissed as a policy choice and for when SMS can be defended as an optimal policy based on standard economic criteria. We have determined that these conditions can be checked with quite limited information about damages and risks. In order to analyze the SMSs in a dynamic setting, we have developed a method for solving optimal control problems where the state space is divided into risky and non-risky subsets.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 40 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 401-423

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:40:y:2008:i:3:p:401-423

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: Safe Minimum Standards; Optimal control; Critical zone; Threshold effects; Mixed risk spaces; C61; Q20; Q30;

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References

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  1. Crowards, Tom M., 1998. "Safe Minimum Standards: costs and opportunities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-314, June.
  2. Tsur Yacov & Zemel Amos, 1995. "Uncertainty and Irreversibility in Groundwater Resource Management," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 149-161, September.
  3. Eric N�vdal, 2001. "Optimal Regulation of Eutrophying Lakes, Fjords, and Rivers in the Presence of Threshold Effects," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 972-984.
  4. Michael C. Farmer & Alan Randall, 1998. "The Rationality of a Safe Minimum Standard," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(3), pages 287-302.
  5. Clarke, Harry R. & Reed, William J., 1994. "Consumption/pollution tradeoffs in an environment vulnerable to pollution-related catastrophic collapse," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 991-1010, September.
  6. Richard T. Woodward & Richard C. Bishop, 1997. "How to Decide When Experts Disagree: Uncertainty-Based Choice Rules in Environmental Policy," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 492-507.
  7. Cropper, M. L., 1976. "Regulating activities with catastrophic environmental effects," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-15, June.
  8. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  9. Bryan G. Norton & Michael A. Toman, 1997. "Sustainability: Ecological and Economic Perspectives," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 553-568.
  10. Farmer, Michael C., 2001. "Getting the safe minimum standard to work in the real world: a case study in moral pragmatism," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 209-226, August.
  11. Palmini, Dennis, 1999. "Uncertainty, risk aversion, and the game theoretic foundations of the safe minimum standard: a reassessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 463-472, June.
  12. Heal, Geoffrey M., 1993. "The optimal use of exhaustible resources," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 855-880 Elsevier.
  13. Sarin, Rakesh K & Wakker, Peter, 1992. "A Simple Axiomatization of Nonadditive Expected Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1255-72, November.
  14. Broome, John, 1996. "The Welfare Economics of Population," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 177-93, April.
  15. Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon & Klibanoff, Peter & Ozdenoren, Emre, 2000. "Maxmin expected utility through statewise combinations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 49-54, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Grijalva, Therese & Berrens, Robert P. & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2011. "Species preservation versus development: An experimental investigation under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 995-1005, March.
  2. Crépin, Anne-Sophie & Norberg, Jon & Mäler, Karl-Göran, 2011. "Coupled economic-ecological systems with slow and fast dynamics -- Modelling and analysis method," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1448-1458, June.

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