The Problem of Prevention
Many disasters are foreshadowed by insuficient preventive care. In this paper, we argue that there is a true problem of prevention, in that insu¢ cient care is often the result of rational calculations on the part of agents. We identify two factors that lead to dubious e¤orts in care. First, when objective risks of a disaster are poorly understood, positive experiences may lead to an underestimation of these risks and a corresponding underinvestment in prevention. Second, redundancies designed for safety may lead agents to reduce their care, resulting in a decrease in safety under certain conditions. We also analyze the use of checklists in accident prevention
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