Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Recent years have witnessed the beginning of an important trend in environmental law and policy, namely the endeavor to integrate insights from the behavioral sciences into regulatory design and implementation. This chapter offers an assessment of the behavioralist turn, arguing that traditional precautionary environmental regulation—criticized by behavioralists as reflective of lay cognitive errors in risk perception—may be defended as providing significant bias correctives of its own. It finds in such perceptions a variety of contextual factors that may be of normative importance and shows that there are powerful reasons to believe that public demand for protection against harmful market externalities may systematically understate the societal need for protection. Drawing from fundamental behavioral scientific insights, the chapter suggests that environmental law must allow for public deliberation about the rearrangement of social rules and incentives in a manner that induces people to act to serve the common good.

Keywords: precautionary principle, cost-benefit analysis, libertarian paternalism, preference endogeneity, deliberative democracy, cognitive bias, risk perception

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.