Revealed Preferences: Comments on the Starr Benefit-Risk Relationships

Otway, H.J. & Cohen, J.J. (1975). Revealed Preferences: Comments on the Starr Benefit-Risk Relationships. IIASA Research Memorandum. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: RM-75-005

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Societal preferences related to risk acceptance form an important input into decisions affecting the selection and deployment of large-scale technological systems. These preferences may be determined either by psychometric survey techniques or through the analysis of recorded statistical data. The latter method, revealed preferences, has been used, most notably by Starr, to derive mathematical relationships between societal benefit and technological risk. In this paper the merits of the revealed preference approach are summarized and the validity of the Starr quantitative results is examined. It is concluded that these results are excessively sensitive to the assumptions made and the handling of data and that the existence of simple mathematical relationships, based upon the revealed preferences method, is unlikely. Plans for further research in determining societal preferences are outlined.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Research Memorandum)
Research Programs: Energy Program (ENP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:43
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:08

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