Second-order effects and consequences

Created: April 4, 2023
Updated: August 10, 2023

Second-order consequences are the knock-on effects of something happening.


  • The first-order effect of cutting a tree down is that birds find somewhere else to live

  • The second-order effect is that they end up crapping on your car because they live on a tree above your driveway.

There can be second, third … nth order:

  • Effects

  • Consequences

  • Benefits

  • Actions/Reactions