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Scientific progress and irreversibility : an economic interpretation of the Precautionary principle

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Author Info

  • Gollier

    (EXT)

  • Jullien

    (EXT)

  • Treich

    (Unité de recherche d'Économie et Sociologie Rurales, INRA)

Abstract

Les auteurs cherchent à justifier le principe de précaution (Traité de Maastricht) qui veut que l'absence de certitudes, compte tenu des connaissances scientifiques du moment, ne retarde pas l'adoption de mesures de prévention des risques. Pour ce faire, ils considèrent le problème d'un bien dont la consommation peut s'avérer nuisible dans le long terme. L'intensité du dommage est incertaine. Elle dépend de la consommation totale du bien sur les périodes antérieures. Des progrès sont faits qui améliorent la connaissance sur la distribution du risque. Ils étudient sous quelles conditions la présence d'une incertitude plus grande sur la distribution des dommages potentiels réduit le niveau socialement efficace de consommation du bien. L'analyse a de nombreuses applications, comme le problème du réchauffement de la terre, la maladie de la vache folle, le drame de l'amiante ou le sang contaminé.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France in its series Working Papers with number 156240.

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Length: 229-253
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Public Economics
Handle: RePEc:inr:wpaper:156240

Note: Egalement paru dans : INRA LEERNA Toulouse 1997 ; ERNA 97.2
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Keywords: Environnement; espace et société; théorie économiquerisque; principe de precautioneffet de serrepréjudice; santé publique; traite communautaire;

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References

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