On the Production of Homeland Security Under True Uncertainty
Homeland security against possible terrorist attacks involves making decisions under true uncertainty. Not only are we ignorant of the form, place, and time of potential terrorist attacks, we are also largely ignorant of the likelihood of these attacks. In this paper, we conceptualize homeland security under true uncertainty as society’s immunity to unacceptable losses. We illustrate and analyze the consequences of this notion of security with a simple model of allocating a fixed budget for homeland security to defending the pathways through which a terrorist may launch an attack and to mitigating the damage from an attack that evades this defense. In this problem, immunity is the range of uncertainty about the likelihood of an attack within which the actual expected loss will not exceed some critical value. We analyze the allocation of a fixed homeland security budget to defensive and mitigative efforts to maximize immunity to alternative levels of expected loss. We show that the production of homeland security involves a fundamental trade-off between immunity and acceptable loss; that is, for fixed resources that are optimally allocated to defense and mitigation, increasing immunity requires accepting higher expected losses, and reducing acceptable expected losses requires lower immunity. Greater investments in homeland security allow society to increase its immunity to a particular expected loss, reduce the expected losses to which we are immune while holding the degree of immunity constant, or some combination of increased immunity to a lower critical expected loss.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2006|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.umass.edu/resec/|
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kelsey, David, 1993.
"Choice under Partial Uncertainty,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(2), pages 297-308, May.
- Kelsey, D., 1991. "Choice Under Partial Uncertainty," Discussion Papers 91-19, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
- Geoffrey Heal & Howard Kunreuther, 2005. "IDS Models of Airline Security," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(2), pages 201-217, April.
- Keohane, Nathaniel O & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 2003. "The Ecology of Terror Defense," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 201-229, March-May.
- Kunreuther, Howard & Heal, Geoffrey, 2003. "Interdependent Security," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 231-249, March-May.
- Richard D. Horan & Charles Perrings & Frank Lupi & Erwin H. Bulte, 2002. "Biological Pollution Prevention Strategies under Ignorance:The Case of Invasive Species," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1303-1310.
- Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, 2005. "The Terrorist Endgame," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(2), pages 237-258, April.
- L. Joe Moffitt & John K. Stranlund & Barry C. Field, 2005. "Inspections To Avert Terrorism: Robustness Under Severe Uncertainty," Working Papers 2005-3, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dre:wpaper:2006-5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Eileen Keegan)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.