Risk and Reason: Safety, Law, and the Environment
Paperback. Pub Date: 2004 Pages: 220 in Publisher: Camidge University Press What should be done about airplane safety and terrorism. Global warming. Polluted water nuclear power.. And of genetically engineered food all over the globe. Risks to safety. Health . and the environment are a subject of intense interest. Too much of the time we fear the wrong things. Sometimes we...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published January 12th 2004 by Cambridge University Press
(first published September 28th 2002)
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File this one under books I disagree with but grudgingly respect. Cass Sunstein argues here (quite passionately) for wider use of formal cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in government policy making. Lest you think this is merely a dry legal exercise, note that Sunstein is currently serving as President Obama's regulatory czar where he is putting his stamp on all manner of government regulations. The arguments in this book may well play a role in the safety of your workplace or the quality of the air...more
Sunstein's thesis on the usefulness of cost-benefit analysis in policy implementation. He's convincing, though I think this book was written when he was still inexperienced (though obviously well-read) in the field, and it's pretty theoretical and idealistic. I would love to read any counterarguments, if people have suggestions.
Wow - I had to speed through this in two days (part of some research for a class). Anyway, he didn't completely convince me about the need for cost-benefit analysis in every instance. His arguments were thoughtful and well-discussed, but I still just feel that there is something missing--that some environmental concerns are important despite cost. Of course I can see how my reasoning is flawed, according to his arguments, but nonetheless, I just feel there's something missing.
Sunstein is one of the most prominent advocates of cost-benefit analysis in public policy and law. In this book, he clearly lays out his argument for why using cost-benefit analysis is a good idea. Importantly, he admits and discusses the weaknesses as well. So, while the book obviously has a pro Cost-benefit slant, it is by no means misleadingly biased. Sunstein is a good writer, and has very persuasive arguments. A must read for anybody interested in policy or policy analysis.
Cass R. Sunstein is an American legal scholar, particularly in the fields of constitutional law, administrative law, environmental law, and law and behavioral economics, who currently is the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. For 27 years, Sunstein taught at the University of Chicago Law School, where he continues to teach as...moreMore about Cass R. Sunstein...