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It might have been: risk, precaution, and opportunity costs
|Title||It might have been: risk, precaution, and opportunity costs|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|Journal||Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law|
This article, which is part of a larger project comparing the merits of cost-benefit analysis and the precautionary principle for accessing risks association with environmental, health, and safety regulation, focuses on the claim that the precautionary principle's ignorance of the opportunity costs of precaution leads to indeterminate or impoverishing policy advice. The author defends the precautionary principle against this criticism, and demonstrates that the question of opportunity cost in risk regulation raises large questions about the meaning and significance of uncertainty and rationality, the nature of a nation's moral obligation to others, and the very possibility of conceiving political decision-making in the purely agent-neutral manner presupposed by cost-benefit analysis. This working paper was also published in the Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law in 2007.