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University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Risk

Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Risk And Regulatory Calibration: Wto Compliance Review Of The U.S. Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Regime, Cary Coglianese, André Sapir Jan 2017

Risk And Regulatory Calibration: Wto Compliance Review Of The U.S. Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Regime, Cary Coglianese, André Sapir

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In a series of recent disputes arising under the TBT Agreement, the Appellate Body has interpreted Article 2.1 to provide that discriminatory and trade-distortive regulation could be permissible if based upon a “legitimate regulatory distinction.” In its recent compliance decision in the US-Tuna II dispute, the AB reaffirmed its view that regulatory distinctions embedded in the U.S. dolphin-safe tuna labeling regime were not legitimate because they were not sufficiently calibrated to the risks to dolphins associated with different tuna fishing conditions. This paper analyzes the AB’s application of the notion of risk-based regulation in the US-Tuna II dispute and finds …


Human Survival, Risk, And Law: Considering Risk Filters To Replace Cost-Benefit Analysis, John William Draper Apr 2016

Human Survival, Risk, And Law: Considering Risk Filters To Replace Cost-Benefit Analysis, John William Draper

Librarian Scholarship at Penn Law

Selfish utilitarianism, neo-classical economics, the directive of short-term income maximization, and the decision tool of cost-benefit analysis fail to protect our species from the significant risks of too much consumption, pollution, or population. For a longer-term survival, humanity needs to employ more than cost-justified precaution.

This article argues that, at the global level, and by extension at all levels of government, we need to replace neo-classical economics with filters for safety and feasibility to regulate against significant risk. For significant risks, especially those that are irreversible, we need decision tools that will protect humanity at all scales. This article describes …


Reimagining The Risk Of Long-Term Care, Allison K. Hoffman Jan 2016

Reimagining The Risk Of Long-Term Care, Allison K. Hoffman

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U.S. law and policy on long-term care fail to address the insecurity American families face due to prolonged illness and disability — a problem that grows more serious as the population ages and rates of disability rise. This Article argues that, even worse, we have focused on only part of the problem. It illuminates two ways that prolonged disability or illness can create insecurity. The first arises from the risk of becoming disabled or sick and needing long-term care, which could be called “care-recipient” risk. The second arises out of the risk of becoming responsible for someone else’s care, which …


Discounting And Criminals' Implied Risk Preferences, Murat C. Mungan, Jonathan Klick Jan 2015

Discounting And Criminals' Implied Risk Preferences, Murat C. Mungan, Jonathan Klick

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It is commonly assumed that potential offenders are more responsive to increases in the certainty than increases in the severity of punishment. An important implication of this assumption within the Beckerian law enforcement model is that criminals are risk-seeking. This note adds to existing literature by showing that offenders who discount future monetary benefits can be more responsive to the certainty rather than the severity of punishment, even when they are risk averse, and even when their disutility from imprisonment rises proportionally (or more than proportionally) with the length of the sentence.


State Finance In Times Of Crisis, Brian Galle, Jonathan Klick Sep 2009

State Finance In Times Of Crisis, Brian Galle, Jonathan Klick

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As recent events illustrate, state finances are pro-cyclical: during recessions, state revenues crash, worsening the effects of economic downturns. This problem is well-known, yet persistent. We argue here that, in light of predictable federalism and political economy dynamics, states will be unable to change this situation on their own. Additionally, we note that many possible federal remedies may result in worse problems, such as creating moral hazard that would induce states to take on excessively risky policy, both fiscal and otherwise. Thus, we argue that policy makers should consider so-called “automatic” stabilizers, such as are found in the federal tax …


Risk Equity: A New Proposal, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2008

Risk Equity: A New Proposal, Matthew D. Adler

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What does distributive justice require of risk regulators? Various executive orders enjoin health and safety regulators to take account of “distributive impacts,” “equity,” or “environmental justice,” and many scholars endorse these requirements. But concrete methodologies for evaluating the equity effects of risk regulation policies remain undeveloped. The contrast with cost-benefit analysis--now a very well developed set of techniques --is stark. Equity analysis by governmental agencies that regulate health and safety risks, at least in the United States, lacks rigor and structure. This Article proposes a rigorous framework for risk-equity analysis, which I term “probabilistic population profile analysis” (PPPA). PPPA is …


Qalys And Policy Evaluation: A New Perspective, Matthew D. Adler Dec 2005

Qalys And Policy Evaluation: A New Perspective, Matthew D. Adler

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“QALYs” (Quality-Adjusted Life Years) are a metric for health and longevity very widely employed by health researchers. Surveys are used to assign health states a quality ranking on zero-one scale, with zero representing a health state no better than death and one perfect health. The total QALY value of a health profile is calculated as the time spent in its component health states, each weighted by its quality. Until a few years ago, despite the huge academic literature on QALY measurement, this approach was seldom used by policymakers in the U.S. But there have been recent signs of governmental interest …


Equity Analysis And Natural Hazards Policy, Matthew D. Adler Nov 2005

Equity Analysis And Natural Hazards Policy, Matthew D. Adler

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What is an “equitable” policy for mitigating the impacts of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other natural hazards? Economists tend to see “equity” or “distribution” as irreducibly political and subjective. But, in truth, equity analysis and cost-benefit analysis are on a par. Both require a normative justification. Moreover, normative argument can help us structure equity analysis, just as it can cost-benefit analysis. This chapter, written for a forthcoming book on natural hazards policy after Katrina, argues that equity is a normative consideration distinct from efficiency or overall well-being. It then argues that equity is individualistic, not group-based; ex post, not ex …


Against 'Individual Risk': A Sympathetic Critique Of Risk Assessment, Matthew D. Adler Mar 2005

Against 'Individual Risk': A Sympathetic Critique Of Risk Assessment, Matthew D. Adler

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"Individual risk" currently plays a major role in risk assessment and in the regulatory practices of the health and safety agencies that employ risk assessment, such as EPA, FDA, OSHA, NRC, CPSC, and others. Risk assessors use the term "population risk" to mean the number of deaths caused by some hazard. By contrast, "individual risk" is the incremental probability of death that the hazard imposes on some particular person. Regulatory decision procedures keyed to individual risk are widespread. This is true both for the regulation of toxic chemicals (the heartland of risk assessment), and for other health hazards, such as …


Fear Assessment: Cost-Benefit Analysis And The Pricing Of Fear And Anxiety, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2004

Fear Assessment: Cost-Benefit Analysis And The Pricing Of Fear And Anxiety, Matthew D. Adler

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Risk assessment is now a common feature of regulatory practice, but fear assessment is not. In particular, environmental, health and safety agencies such as EPA, FDA, OSHA, NHTSA, and CPSC, commonly count death, illness and injury as costs for purposes of cost-benefit analysis, but almost never incorporate fear, anxiety or other welfare-reducing mental states into the analysis. This is puzzling, since fear and anxiety are welfare setbacks, and since the very hazards regulated by these agencies - air or water pollutants, toxic waste dumps, food additives and contaminants, workplace toxins and safety threats, automobiles, dangerous consumer products, radiation, and so …


Risk Regulation, Endogenous Public Concerns, And The Hormones Dispute: Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself?, Howard F. Chang Jan 2004

Risk Regulation, Endogenous Public Concerns, And The Hormones Dispute: Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself?, Howard F. Chang

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The dispute between the United States and the European Union (EU) regarding the EU ban on meat imports treated with hormones raises the question: How should regulators respond to public fears that are disproportionate to the risks as evaluated by experts in risk assessment? If regulators cannot eliminate public fears through education, then there is some social benefit from regulations that reduce the feared risks and thereby reduce public anxiety and distortions in behavior flowing from that anxiety. These considerations imply that we cannot simply ignore public fears that technocrats would deem "irrational." On the other hand, there is the …