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Precautionary principle as a rule of choice with optimism on windfall gains and pessimism on catastrophic losses

  • Basili, Marcello
  • Chateauneuf, Alain
  • Fontini, Fulvio

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 485-491

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:3:p:485-491
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Moshe Levy & Haim Levy, 2002. "Prospect Theory: Much Ado About Nothing?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(10), pages 1334-1349, October.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  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, 03.
  5. 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, 05.
  6. Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. 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.
  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. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  10. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  11. Claude Henry & Marc Henry, 2002. "Formalization and applications of the precautionary principles," Discussion Papers 0102-22, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  12. Claude HENRY & Marc HENRY, 2002. "Formalization and Applications of the Precuationary Principle," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002009, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  13. 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.
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