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Environmental Protection and Economic Well-Being: How Does (and How Should)Government Balance These Two Important Values?

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  • Stavins, Robert

Abstract

The organizers of an Aspen Institute conference have identified what they characterize as “the critical conundrum” — how business, government, and communications media balance the competing values of economic growth and a healthy environment. In this paper, prepared for discussion at the conference, I focus on government policy, and ask how government integrates economic concerns into its development of environmental policies. In addition, I ask whether and how government should carry out such integration of economic and environmental concerns. I consider two dimensions of environmental policy, which are closely interrelated but conceptually distinct: (1) what is the appropriate (and actual) degree of government activity; and (2) what form should (and does) government activity take. In this brief essay, I attempt to define the scope of these questions, and suggest criteria that can be used to evaluate responses.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-03-48.

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Date of creation: 31 Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-48

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  1. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
  2. Stavins, Robert N., 2003. "Experience with market-based environmental policy instruments," Handbook of Environmental Economics, Elsevier, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 355-435 Elsevier.
  3. Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "What Can We Learn from the Grand Policy Experiment? Lessons from SO2 Allowance Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
  4. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  5. repec:reg:wpaper:98 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Stavins, Robert, 1997. "Policy Instruments for Climate Change: How Can National Governments Address a Global Problem?," Discussion Papers, Resources For the Future dp-97-11, Resources For the Future.
  7. repec:reg:rpubli:98 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Hahn, R.W. & Stavins, R.N., 1990. "Incentive-Based Environmental Regulation: A New Era From An Old Idea?," Papers 183d, Harvard - J.F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Arrow, Kenneth J. & Cropper, Maureen L. & Eads, George C. & Hahn, Robert W. & Lave, Lester B. & Noll, Roger G. & Portney, Paul R. & Russell, Milson & Schmalensee, Richard & Smith, V. Kerry & Stavins, , 1997. "Is there a role for benefit-cost analysis in environmental, health, and safety regulation?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 195-221, May.
  10. Cropper, Maureen L. & William N. Evans & Stephen J. Berard & Maria M. Ducla-Soares & Paul R. Portney, 1992. "The Determinants of Pesticide Regulation: A Statistical Analysis of EPA Decision Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 175-97, February.
  11. repec:reg:wpaper:188 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Morrall, John F, III, 2003. " Saving Lives: A Review of the Record," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 221-37, December.
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