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The role of ambiguity in the evaluation of the net benefits of the MOSE system in the Venice lagoon


  • Fontini, Fulvio
  • Umgiesser, Georg
  • Vergano, Lucia


Several environmental problems are complicated by ambiguity. Sea-level rise following climate change is one relevant example. In this paper, we apply a decision-making approach specifically designed to deal with ambiguity in order to evaluate the net benefits of the mobile barriers system (MOSE), which aims to protect the Venice Lagoon from periodic flooding. We show that the estimated impacts crucially depend on the level of optimism and pessimism of the decision maker and substantially differ from those calculated on the basis of the expected value. We also calculate the implicit ambiguity attitude of the decision maker.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:10:p:1964-1972

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
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    9. 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.
    10. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
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    13. Paulo A.L.D. Nunes & Margaretha Breil & Gretel Gambarelli, 2005. "Economic Valuation of On Site Material Damages of High Water on Economic Activities based in the City of Venice: Results from a Dose-Response-Expert-Based Valuation Approach," Working Papers 2005.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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    Cited by:

    1. Caporin, Massimiliano & Fontini, Fulvio, 2014. "The Value of Protecting Venice from the Acqua Alta Phenomenon under Different Local Sea Level Rises," MPRA Paper 53779, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Decision making under ambiguity NEO-capacity Venice MOSE Acqua alta;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming


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