Scientific progress and irreversibility: an economic interpretation of the 'Precautionary Principle'
Les auteurs cherchent Ã justifier le principe de prÃ©caution (TraitÃ© de Maastricht) qui veut que l'absence de certitudes, compte tenu des connaissances scientifiques du moment, ne retarde pas l'adoption de mesures de prÃ©vention des risques. Pour ce faire, ils considÃ¨rent le problÃ¨me d'un bien dont la consommation peut s'avÃ©rer nuisible dans le long terme. L'intensitÃ© du dommage est incertaine. Elle dÃ©pend de la consommation totale du bien sur les pÃ©riodes antÃ©rieures. Des progrÃ¨s sont faits qui amÃ©liorent la connaissance sur la distribution du risque. Ils Ã©tudient sous quelles conditions la prÃ©sence d'une incertitude plus grande sur la distribution des dommages potentiels rÃ©duit le niveau socialement efficace de consommation du bien. L'analyse a de nombreuses applications, comme le problÃ¨me du rÃ©chauffement de la terre, la maladie de la vache folle, le drame de l'amiante ou le sang contaminÃ©.
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