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Environmental Policy Since Earth Day I: What Have We Gained?

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  • A. Myrick Freeman III
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    Abstract

    I review the data on costs and benefits of the major environmental laws passed during the 1970s. The winners in terms of benefit-cost analysis include: getting lead out of gasoline; controlling particulate air pollution; reducing the concentration of lead in drinking water; and the cleanup of hazardous waste sites with the lowest cost per cancer case avoided under Superfund The losers include: mobile source air pollution control; water pollution control; and many of the regulations and cleanup decisions taken under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and Superfund.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/0895330027148
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
    Pages: 125-146

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:16:y:2002:i:1:p:125-146

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0895330027148
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    1. Morgenstern, Richard & Harrington, Winston & Nelson, Per-Kristian, 1999. "On the Accuracy of Regulatory Cost Estimates," Discussion Papers dp-99-18, Resources For the Future.
    2. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
    3. James T. Hamilton & W. Kip Viscusi, 1999. "Calculating Risks?: The Spatial and Political Dimensions of Hazardous Waste Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262082780, December.
    4. Winston Harrington & Richard D. Morgenstern & Peter Nelson, 2000. "On the accuracy of regulatory cost estimates," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 297-322.
    5. Paul R. Portney, 1994. "The Contingent Valuation Debate: Why Economists Should Care," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 3-17, Fall.
    6. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
    7. Van Houtven, George L. & Cropper, Maureen L. & DEC, 1994. "When is a life too costly to save? : evidence from U.S. environmental regulations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1260, The World Bank.
    8. Van Houtven, George & Cropper, Maureen L., 1996. "When is a Life Too Costly to Save? The Evidence from U.S. Environmental Regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 348-368, May.
    9. Karen Palmer & Wallace E. Oates & Paul R. Portney, 1995. "Tightening Environmental Standards: The Benefit-Cost or the No-Cost Paradigm?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 119-132, Fall.
    10. Stavins, Robert, 1998. "Market-Based Environmental Policies," Discussion Papers dp-98-26, Resources For the Future.
    11. Viscusi, W Kip, 1993. "The Value of Risks to Life and Health," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1912-46, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Cap and trade policies in the presence of monopoly and distortionary taxation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 327-347, November.
    2. Caplan, Arthur J. & Gilbert, John & Chatterjee, Devalina, 2013. "Using Field-level Characteristics as Proxy Measures to Test for the Presence of Economies of Scale in Nonpoint Pollution Control," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(2), August.
    3. Graves, Philip E., 2009. "A note on the valuation of collective goods: overlooked input market free riding for non-individually incrementable goods," MPRA Paper 19928, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Dominique Bureau, 2005. "L’évaluation des réglementations : transports et environnement," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 167(1), pages 49-65.
    5. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn & William Nordhaus, 2011. "Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1649-75, August.
    6. Arthur J. Caplan & Yuya Sasaki, 2009. "Matching Traders in a Pollution Market: The Case of Cub River, Utah," Working Papers 2009-08, Utah State University, Department of Economics.
    7. John Loomis & Bryon Allen, 2008. "Using Non Market Valuation to Inform the Choice Between Permits and Fees in Environmental Regulation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(3), pages 329-337, July.
    8. Caplan, Arthur J. & Sasaki, Yuya, 2014. "Benchmarking an optimal pattern of pollution trading: The case of Cub River, Utah," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 502-510.
    9. Arthur J. Caplan & Yuya Sasaki, 2009. "Sharing the Surplus Generated from Noncooperative Cost Sharing: The Case of Nonpoint Associations and Water Quality Trading," Working Papers 2009-09, Utah State University, Department of Economics.

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