The rationality of a safe minimum standard

Michael C. Farmer, Alan Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The Safe Minimum Standard (SMS) is a policy shift to safety defaults to forestall irreversible outcomes. Critics charge an inconsistency: what justifies 'business as usual' cannot also justify switching to teh SMS. Currently, the SMS is only a procedural shift where economic optimality procedures are buttressed by extra-special focus on uncertainty. Yet social welfare function may not be complete enough, warranting a more fundamental SMA shift. Numerous moral positions support this SMS approach. This SMS also operationalizes the intolerable cost as a trigger point, noting societies with lower tolerance for sacrifice must trigger the SMS earlier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-302
Number of pages16
JournalLand Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1998


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