Risk in Public Policy Making: A Neglected Issue in Australia

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Hardaker, J. Brian ; Fleming, Euan M. ; Lien, Gudbrand D. (2008)
  • Subject: Policy-making, Risk, Uncertainty, Decision Analysis, Perceptions, Subjectivity, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Political Economy, Risk and Uncertainty,

We argue for greater recognition of the risky nature of most policy decisions. In this context we discuss the gulf between public risk perceptions and attitudes and those of 'experts'. Public views of risk are often inconsistent and seemingly irrational. They nevertheless influence policy choices in a democracy. On the other hand, experts often claim unjustifiable levels of confidence in their predictions of policy choice outcomes, creating a lack of public faith in their recommendations. While risky policy choices deserve more systematic decision analysis, there is a need for more effective interaction between policy makers, decision analysts and the public.
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