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The Problem of Prevention

  • Juan Dubra

    ()

  • Jean-Pierre Benoit

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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File URL: http://www.um.edu.uy/docs/working_paper_um_cee_2011_11.pdf
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Paper provided by Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo. in its series Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers with number 1111.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mnt:wpaper:1111
Contact details of provider: Postal: Prudencio de Pena 2440, Montevideo 11600
Web page: http://www.um.edu.uy/cee/

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  1. Gaube, Thomas, 2001. "Group size and free riding when private and public goods are gross substitutes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 127-132, January.
  2. Rothschild, Michael, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 689-711, July/Aug..
  3. Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1990. "Herd Behavior and Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 465-79, June.
  4. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Juan Dubra, 2004. "Optimism and Overconfidence in Search," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(1), pages 198-218, January.
  7. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter Norman, 2006. "Professional advice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 120-142, January.
  8. Gollier, Christian, 2002. "Optimal Prevention of Unknown Risks: A Dynamic Approach with Learning," IDEI Working Papers 139, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  9. Michael Rothschild, 1974. "Searching for the Lowest Price When the Distribution of Prices Is Unknown: A Summary," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 1, pages 293-294 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Cornes, Richard, 1993. "Dyke Maintenance and Other Stories: Some Neglected Types of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(1), pages 259-71, February.
  11. Glenn MacDonald & Leslie M. Marx, 2001. "Adverse Specialization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 864-899, August.
  12. Dasgupta, Amil & Prat, Andrea, 2005. "Asset Price Dynamics When Traders Care About Reputation," CEPR Discussion Papers 5372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Dubra, J., 1999. "Overconfidence in Search," Working Papers 99-10, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  14. Andreas Diekmann, 1985. "Volunteer's Dilemma," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 29(4), pages 605-610, December.
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