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Quasi-Experimental and Experimental Approaches to Environmental Economics

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  • Michael Greenstone
  • Ted Gayer

Abstract

This paper argues that an increased application of quasi-experimental and experimental techniques will improve understanding about core environmental economics questions. This argument is supported by a review of the limitations of associational evidence in assessing causal hypotheses. The paper also discusses the benefits of experiments and quasi-experiments, outlines some quasi-experimental methods, and highlights threats to their validity. It then illustrates the quasi-experimental method by assessing the validity of a quasi-experiment that aims to estimate the impact of the Endangered Species Act on property markets in North Carolina. The paper’s larger argument is that greater application of experimental and quasi-experimental techniques can identify efficient policies that increase social welfare.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 0713.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:mee:wpaper:0713

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