Neglected Features of the Safe Minimum Standard: Socio-economics and Institutional Dimensions
Important features of the safe minimum standard (SMS) rule as outlined by Ciriacy-Wantrup are ignored in the recent literature, e.g., the critical zone, institutional and normative dimensions, and the relationship between economic and biological irreversibility. Also, seeing SMS as an adjunct to social cost-benefit analysis is inconsistent with the original concept. Since SMS is usually applied to collective commodities, consideration of normative and institutional factors is inescapable. Hence, 'unacceptably large' social costs cannot be made operational by traditional social cost-benefit analysis. Close relatives of SMS such as discontinuous objective functions, the precautionary principle and reversal of proof are also discussed, as well as the determination of SMS by social discourse
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