Table of Contents
Economics Research International
Volume 2010, Article ID 510127, 9 pages
Research Article

Securing the Border from Invasives: Robust Inspections under Severe Uncertainty

1Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 80 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
2United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in Washington, DC 20036, USA

Received 16 March 2010; Accepted 25 May 2010

Academic Editor: Yew-Kwang Ng

Copyright © 2010 L. Joe Moffitt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Two important features of agricultural quarantine inspections of shipping containers for invasive species at U.S. ports of entry are the general absence of economic considerations and the severe uncertainty that surrounds invasive species introductions. In this article, we propose and illustrate a method for determining an inspection monitoring protocol that addresses both issues. An inspection monitoring protocol is developed that is robust in maximizing the set of uncertain outcomes over which an economic performance criterion is achieved. The framework is applied to derive an alternative to Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI) for shipments of fruits and vegetables as currently practiced at ports of entry in the United States.