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The problem of prevention

Jean-Pierre Benoît and Juan Dubra ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Many disasters are foreshadowed by insufficient preventative care. In this paper, we argue that there is a true problem of prevention, in that insufficient care is often the result of rational calculations on the part of agents. We identify three factors that lead to dubious efforts in care. First, when objective risks of a disaster are poorly understood, positive experiences may lead to an underestimation of these risks and a corresponding underinvestment in prevention. Second, redundancies designed for safety may lead agents to take substandard care. Finally, elected officials have an incentive to underinvest in prevention for some disasters, especially those that are relatively unlikely.

Keywords: Prevention; Accidents; Volunteer's Dilemma; Learning; Career Concerns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 D81 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006-03-29, Revised 2007-03-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-upt
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Related works:
Journal Article: ON THE PROBLEM OF PREVENTION (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: The Problem of Prevention (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: The Problem of Prevention (2006)
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