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Complexity, Climate Change and the Precautionary Principle

Author

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  • John Quiggin

    (Department of Economics, University of Queensland)

Abstract

The precautionary principle has been proposed as a basis making decisions about environmental health under conditions of uncertainty, but remains controversial. This paper shows how the precautionary principle may be interpreted as a guide to decision making in complex systems characterised by unfavorable surprises. The application of the precautionary principle to the problem of climate change is discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • John Quiggin, "undated". "Complexity, Climate Change and the Precautionary Principle," Climate Change Working Papers WPC07_3, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsm:climte:c07_3
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    File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/rsmg/WP/WPC07_3.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joshua Gans & John Quiggin, 2007. "The Practicalities of Emissions Trading," Climate Change Working Papers WPC07_4, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
    2. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1995. "Case-Based Decision Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 605-639.
    3. Gollier, Christian & Jullien, Bruno & Treich, Nicolas, 2000. "Scientific progress and irreversibility: an economic interpretation of the 'Precautionary Principle'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 229-253, February.
    4. Simon Grant & John Quiggin, 2005. "Learning and Discovery," Risk & Uncertainty Working Papers WP7R05, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marshall, Graham R., 2013. "Transaction costs, collective action and adaptation in managing complex social–ecological systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 185-194.
    2. Randall, Alan, 2009. "We Already Have Risk Management - Do We Really Need the Precautionary Principle?," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 3(1), pages 39-74, August.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General

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