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Two Types of Risk

Weirich, Paul (2012) Two Types of Risk. In: [2012] New Science - New Risks (Pittsburgh; 30-31 March 2012).

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    When new technologies create risks, government agencies use regulations to control the risks. This paper advances a method of evaluating a democracy’s regulation of risks. It assumes that a regulatory agency should act as the public would act in ideal conditions for negotiation if the public were rational and informed. The method relies on decision theory and game theory to ascertain whether a regulation has the public’s informed support.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulation of exposure to carcinogens in the workplace illustrates the account of regulation. The illustration draws attention to a distinction between physical and information-sensitive risks. Regulations guided by the physical sciences alone may overlook the value of reducing information-sensitive risks. These risks exist objectively, and rational people generally have an aversion to them. An information-sensitive risk and an aversion to it may persist after acquisition of all available relevant information. Democratic regulation justifiably aims to reduce such risks.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: risk, probability, regulation, normative model
    Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
    General Issues > Technology
    Conferences and Volumes: [2012] New Science - New Risks (Pittsburgh; 30-31 March 2012)
    Depositing User: Paul Weirich
    Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2012 08:46
    Last Modified: 29 Mar 2012 08:46
    Item ID: 9065

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