Environmental Modeling & Assessment

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 127–133 | Cite as

The Precautionary Principle as a Robust Cost-Effectiveness Problem

  • Luc Doyen
  • Jean-Christophe Pereau


This paper offers an interpretation of the precautionary principle in terms of a safety target that a decision-maker has to reach at a minimal cost in a robust way. A two-period model is used. The precautionary principle corresponds to a situation in which the decision-maker, facing an ex ante indecision, is not able to reach a safe target from the initial condition in a worst-case framework. However, he can efficiently succeed whenever the uncertainty at the second period is revealed to him. An example coping with the management of a renewable resource illustrates the general results of the paper.


Precautionary principle Safety target Cost-effectiveness Robust control Value of information Flexibility effect Renewable resource 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  2. 2.OEP and TEPP (FR3126, CNRS), Cité DescartesUniversité Paris-EstChamps sur Marne Cedex 2France

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