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The Rationality of a Safe Minimum Standard

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  • Michael C. Farmer
  • Alan Randall

Abstract

The Safe Minimum Standard (SMS) is a policy shift to safety defaults to forestall irreversible outcomes. Critics charge an inconsistency: what justifies "business as usual" cannot also justify switching to the SMS. Currently the SMS is only a procedural shift where economic optimality procedures are buttressed by extra-special focus on uncertainty. Yet social welfare function may not be complete enough, warranting a more fundamental SMS shift. Numerous moral positions support this SMS approach. This SMS also operationalizes the intolerable cost as a trigger point, noting societies with lower tolerance for sacrifice must trigger the SMS earlier.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael C. Farmer & Alan Randall, 1998. "The Rationality of a Safe Minimum Standard," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(3), pages 287-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:74:y:1998:i:3:p:287-302
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kohn, Robert E., 1999. "Thresholds and complementarities in an economic model of preserving and conserving biodiversity," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 151-172, June.
    2. Rohlin, Shawn M. & Batabyal, Amitrajeet A., 2005. "A theoretical perspective on managed rangelands and irreversible states," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 487-494.
    3. Fischer, Carolyn, 2008. "Emissions pricing, spillovers, and public investment in environmentally friendly technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, pages 487-502.
    4. Tobias Hahn & Frank Figge, 2011. "Beyond the Bounded Instrumentality in Current Corporate Sustainability Research: Toward an Inclusive Notion of Profitability," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, pages 325-345.
    5. Michael Margolis & Eric Nævdal, 2008. "Safe Minimum Standards in Dynamic Resource Problems: Conditions for Living on the Edge of Risk," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, pages 401-423.
    6. Figge, Frank & Hahn, Tobias, 2004. "Sustainable Value Added--measuring corporate contributions to sustainability beyond eco-efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 173-187, February.
    7. Figge, Frank & Hahn, Tobias & Barkemeyer, Ralf, 2014. "The If, How and Where of assessing sustainable resource use," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 274-283.
    8. Berrens, Robert P. & McKee, Michael & Farmer, Michael C., 1999. "Incorporating distributional considerations in the safe minimum standard approach: endangered species and local impacts," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 461-474, September.
    9. Bulte, Erwin H. & van Kooten, G. Cornelis, 2001. "Harvesting and conserving a species when numbers are low: population viability and gambler's ruin in bioeconomic models," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 87-100, April.
    10. Toman, Michael & Pezzey, John C., 2002. "The Economics of Sustainability: A Review of Journal Articles," Discussion Papers dp-02-03, Resources For the Future.
    11. Giles Atkinson & Haripriya Gundimeda, 2006. "Accounting for India’s Forest Wealth," Development Economics Working Papers 22494, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    12. De Groot, Rudolf & Van der Perk, Johan & Chiesura, Anna & van Vliet, Arnold, 2003. "Importance and threat as determining factors for criticality of natural capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 187-204, March.
    13. Aldred, Jonathan, 2013. "Justifying precautionary policies: Incommensurability and uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 132-140.
    14. Giles Atkinson & Haripriya Gundimeda, 2006. "Accounting for India’s Forest Wealth," Working Papers 2006-05, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    15. Döring, Ralf, 2006. "Ressourceninput und der Input ökologischer Leistungen in der Kapitaltheorie," Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Diskussionspapiere 06/2006, University of Greifswald, Faculty of Law and Economics.
    16. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2006. "Fair adaptation to climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 594-609, April.
    17. Solomon, Barry D. & Corey-Luse, Cristi M. & Halvorsen, Kathleen E., 2004. "The Florida manatee and eco-tourism: toward a safe minimum standard," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 101-115, September.
    18. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Quaas, Martin F., 2009. "Ecological-economic viability as a criterion of strong sustainability under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2008-2020, May.
    19. Irmi Seidl & Clem Tisdell, 2001. "Neglected Features of the Safe Minimum Standard: Socio-economic and Institutional Dimensions," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 417-442.
    20. Farmer, Michael C., 2001. "Getting the safe minimum standard to work in the real world: a case study in moral pragmatism," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 209-226, August.
    21. Atkinson, Giles & Gundimeda, Haripriya, 2006. "Accounting for India's forest wealth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 462-476, October.
    22. Döring, Ralf & von Egan-Krieger, Tanja & Ott, Konrad, 2007. "Eine Naturkapitaldefinition oder Natur in der Kapitaltheorie," Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Diskussionspapiere 10/2007, University of Greifswald, Faculty of Law and Economics.
    23. Randall, Alan, 2009. "We Already Have Risk Management - Do We Really Need the Precautionary Principle?," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 3(1), pages 39-74, August.
    24. Alan Randall, 2014. "Weak sustainability, conservation and precaution," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 10, pages 160-172 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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