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The problem of prevention

  • Benoît, Jean-Pierre
  • Dubra, Juan

Many disasters are foreshadowed by insufficient preventative care. In this paper, we argue that there is a true problem of prevention, in that insufficient care is often the result of rational calculations on the part of agents. We identify three factors that lead to dubious efforts 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 take substandard care. Finally, elected officials have an incentive to underinvest in prevention for some disasters, especially those that are relatively unlikely.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2462.

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Date of creation: 29 Mar 2006
Date of revision: 30 Mar 2007
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2462
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