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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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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Basili, Marcello & Chateauneuf, Alain & Fontini, Fulvio, 2008. "Precautionary principle as a rule of choice with optimism on windfall gains and pessimism on catastrophic losses," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 485-491, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:3:p:485-491
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    1. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    2. Claude Henry & Marc Henry, 2002. "Formalization and applications of the Precautionary Principle," Working Papers hal-00243001, HAL.
    3. 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.
    4. Marcello Basili & Alain Chateauneuf & Fulvio Fontini, 2005. "Choices Under Ambiguity With Familiar And Unfamiliar Outcomes," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 195-207, March.
    5. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    6. Moshe Levy & Haim Levy, 2002. "Prospect Theory: Much Ado About Nothing?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(10), pages 1334-1349, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Eichberger, Jurgen & Kelsey, David, 2000. "Non-Additive Beliefs and Strategic Equilibria," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 183-215, February.
    9. Dow James & Werlang Sergio Ribeiro Da Costa, 1994. "Nash Equilibrium under Knightian Uncertainty: Breaking Down Backward Induction," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 305-324, December.
    10. 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.
    11. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    12. 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, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:spr:cejnor:v:25:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10100-016-0458-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Aldred, Jonathan, 2013. "Justifying precautionary policies: Incommensurability and uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 132-140.
    5. BRECHET, Thierry & THENIE, Julien & ZEIMES, Thibaut & ZUBER, Stéphane, 2010. "The benefits of cooperation under uncertainty: the case of climate change," CORE Discussion Papers 2010062, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    6. Helena Gaspars-Wieloch, 2014. "Modifications of the Hurwicz’s decision rule," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 22(4), pages 779-794, December.
    7. Helena Gaspars-Wieloch, 2015. "On a decision rule supported by a forecasting stage based on the decision maker’s coefficient of optimism," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 23(3), pages 579-594, September.
    8. Heyen, Daniel & Goeschl, Timo & Wiesenfarth , Boris, 2015. "Risk Assessment under Ambiguity: Precautionary Learning vs. Research Pessimism," Working Papers 0605, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.

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