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Sacrificing Civil Liberties to Reduce Terrorism Risks

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  • Viscusi, W. Kip

    (Harvard U)

  • Zeckhauser, Richard

    (Harvard U)

Abstract

Our survey results demonstrate that targeted screening of airline passengers raises conflicting concerns of efficiency and equity. Support for profiling increases if there is a substantial reduction in avoided delays to other passengers. The time cost and benefit components of targeting affect support for targeted screening in an efficiency-oriented manner. Nonwhite respondents are more reluctant than whites to support targeting or to be targeted. Terrorism risk assessments are highly diffuse, reflecting considerable risk ambiguity. People fear highly severe worst case terrorism outcomes, but their best estimates of the risk are more closely related to their lower bound estimates than their upper bound estimates. Anomalies evident in other risk perception contexts, such as hindsight biases and embeddedness effects, are particularly evident for terrorism risk beliefs.

Suggested Citation

  • Viscusi, W. Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Sacrificing Civil Liberties to Reduce Terrorism Risks," Working Paper Series rwp03-017, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp03-017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kelman, Mark & Fallas, David E & Folger, Hilary, 1998. "Decomposing Hindsight Bias," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 251-269, July-Aug..
    2. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
    3. Viscusi, W Kip, 1997. "Alarmist Decisions with Divergent Risk Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1657-1670, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Scott Farrow & Stuart Shapiro, 2009. "The Benefit-Cost Analysis of Security Focused Regulations," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-101, UMBC Department of Economics.
    2. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2007. "Calculating Tragedy: Assessing The Costs Of Terrorism," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 1-24, February.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "Valuing Public Goods: The Life Satisfaction Approach," IEW - Working Papers 184, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Friedrich Schneider & Tilman Brück & Daniel Meierrieks, 2010. "The Economics of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: A Survey (Part I)," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1049, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. V. Smith & Carol Mansfield & Laurel Clayton, 2009. "Valuing a homeland security policy: Countermeasures for the threats from shoulder mounted missiles," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 215-243, June.
    6. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger, 2005. "Measuring terrorism," Chapters,in: Law and the State, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. repec:eee:reensy:v:95:y:2010:i:8:p:823-827 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Christopher L Ambrey & Christopher M Fleming & Matthew Manning, 2013. "The life satisfaction approach to estimating the cost of crime: An individual's willingness-to-pay for crime reduction," Discussion Papers in Economics economics:201301, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    9. W. Viscusi, 2009. "Valuing risks of death from terrorism and natural disasters," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 191-213, June.
    10. W. Viscusi & Richard Zeckhauser, 2006. "National survey evidence on disasters and relief: Risk beliefs, self-interest, and compassion," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 13-36, September.
    11. Michael Milligan & Alok Bohara & José Pagán, 2010. "Assessing willingness to pay for cancer prevention," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 301-314, December.
    12. David Fielding & Anja Shortland, 2009. "Does television terrify tourists? Effects of US television news on demand for tourism in Israel," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 245-263, June.
    13. Paan Jindapon & William S. Neilson, 2009. "The Impact Of Societal Risk Attitudes On Terrorism And Counterterrorism," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 433-451, November.
    14. Bruno Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2009. "The life satisfaction approach to valuing public goods: The case of terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 317-345, March.
    15. Tilman Brück & Marie Karaisl & Friedrich Schneider, 2008. "A Survey of the Economics of Security," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 1, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    16. Tilman Brück & Marie Karaisl & Friedrich Schneider, 2008. "A Survey on the Economics of Security: Final Report for the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security," DIW Berlin: Politikberatung kompakt, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, volume 41, number pbk41, December.
    17. Prieto-Rodríguez, Juan & Rodríguez, Juan Gabriel & Salas, Rafael & Suarez-Pandiello, Javier, 2009. "Quantifying fear: The social impact of terrorism," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 803-817, September.
    18. Bozzoli, Carlos & Müller, Cathérine, 2011. "Perceptions and attitudes following a terrorist shock: Evidence from the UK," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(S1), pages 89-106.
    19. Lohmann, Larry, 2009. "Toward a different debate in environmental accounting: The cases of carbon and cost-benefit," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 499-534, April.
    20. W. Kip Viscusi & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 2005. "Recollection Bias and the Combat of Terrorism," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 27-55, January.
    21. repec:bla:coecpo:v:35:y:2017:i:2:p:292-311 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. W. Kip Viscusi, 2015. "The heterogeneity of the value of statistical life: evidence and policy implications," Chapters,in: Benefit–Cost Analyses for Security Policies, chapter 4, pages 78-116 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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