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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


The Virtues Of Uncertainty In Law: An Experimental Approach, Tom Baker, Alon Harel, Tamar Kugler Jan 2004

The Virtues Of Uncertainty In Law: An Experimental Approach, Tom Baker, Alon Harel, Tamar Kugler

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Predictability in civil and criminal sanctions is generally understood as desirable. Conversely, unpredictability is condemned as a violation of the rule of law. This paper explores predictability in sanctioning from the point of view of efficiency. It is argued that, given a constant expected sanction, deterrence is increased when either the size of the sanction or the probability that it will be imposed is uncertain. This conclusion follows from earlier findings in behavioral decision research and the results of an experiment conducted specifically to examine this hypothesis. The findings suggest that, within an efficiency framework, there are virtues to uncertainty …


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 …