Equivalent Frames of Reference for Judging Risk Regulation Policies
Viscusi, W. Kip
Although the design of risk regulations has not yet attained what might be termed the economist's ideal of maximizing the difference between benefits and costs, substantial progress has been made in the design of regulatory policy. When the risk regulation agencies began their efforts in the early 1970s, there was widespread concern that something needed to be done to address the important risks that society faces. The substantial optimism with respect to our technological capabilities in reducing risk may have led to a failure to recognize the limits of our risk regulation ventures. Over time, there has been increasing emphasis on the need to attain some degree of risk balancing.