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

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  • Margolis, Michael
  • Naevdal, Eric

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

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-04-03.

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Date of creation: 02 Apr 2004
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-04-03

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Keywords: safe minimum standards; optimal control; critical zone; threshold effects; mixed risk spaces;

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  1. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. Sarin, Rakesh K & Wakker, Peter, 1992. "A Simple Axiomatization of Nonadditive Expected Utility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1255-72, November.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
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  14. 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.
  15. Crowards, Tom M., 1998. "Safe Minimum Standards: costs and opportunities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-314, June.
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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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