EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Selective Fatalism

Cass Sunstein

The Journal of Legal Studies, 1998, vol. 27, issue 2, 799-823

Abstract: Human beings are selectively fatalistic. Some risks appear as "background noise," whereas other, quantitatively identical risks cause enormous concern. This essay explores the reasons for selective fatalism and possible legal responses. Sometimes selective fatalism is a product of distributional issues, as people focus especially on risks that face particular groups; sometimes people adapt their preferences and beliefs so as to reduce concern with risks that they perceive themselves unable to control. Sometimes selective fatalism is a product of heuristics and biases. Finally, selective fatalism can be a product of diverse judgments of value and of unreliable social influences on risk perceptions. Selective fatalism might be overcome by an emphasis, as a regulatory starting point, on how many "decently livable life-years" might be saved by regulation. Copyright 1998 by the University of Chicago.

Date: 1998
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/468043 (application/pdf)
Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:27:y:1998:i:2:p:799-823

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in The Journal of Legal Studies from University of Chicago Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Journals Division ().

 
Page updated 2020-11-29
Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:27:y:1998:i:2:p:799-823