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Le citoyen, l'expert et le politique : une rationalité complexe pour une régulation excessive du risque


  • Yolande Hiriart
  • David Martimort


After having given the foundations for risk regulation, stressed its specificities and underlined that the State is in fine the only economic entity able to control complex risks, we show that a careful analysis of the articulation between the different levers of public intervention leads to overestimate the cost of complex risks for society. Far from being the result of the various players irrationality, this bias towards excessive precaution captures their individual incentives and the complex games played by key actors of the regulatory process. Public management of risk does not obey to a cost-benefit criterion. It should instead be viewed as the outcome of the political games played by interest groups, experts, regulators, politicians. The pessimism inherent to risk regulation captures thus a complex collective rationality that we unveil in this essay.

Suggested Citation

  • Yolande Hiriart & David Martimort, 2012. "Le citoyen, l'expert et le politique : une rationalité complexe pour une régulation excessive du risque," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 2012.HS1, pages 153-182.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2012:i:2012.hs1:p:153-182

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