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date: 08 March 2021

Costs of Inaction 

A Dictionary of Epidemiology

Miquel Porta

An expression in monetary terms of the damage that will be caused if no or limited intervention is taken. Inaction is the lack of development of policies, lack of development of policies beyond those which currently exist, or failure to enforce existing policies. Under an economics perspective the costs of inaction can be analogous to the benefits that it is feasible to obtain with proper regulation. In political decision-making processes, the burden of proof is often distributed such that policy makers only respond to early warning signals from hazards once the costs of inaction have been estimated. Such signals may provide a basis for a precautionary approach to the costs of inaction. The costs of ... ...

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