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|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.umass.edu/resec/|
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Keohane, Nathaniel O & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 2003. "The Ecology of Terror Defense," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 201-29, 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.
- 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.
- Kelsey, D., 1991.
"Choice Under Partial Uncertainty,"
91-19, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
- Kunreuther, Howard & Heal, Geoffrey, 2003. "Interdependent Security," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 231-49, March-May.
- 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.
- Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, 2005. "The Terrorist Endgame," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 49(2), pages 237-258, April.
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.