The Institutional Blind Spot in Environmental Economics
AbstractEconomic approaches are expected to achieve environmental goals at less cost than traditional regulations, but they have yet to find widespread application. One reason is the way these tools interact with existing institutions. The federalist nature of governmental authority assigns to subnational governments much of the implementation of environmental policy and primary authority for planning the infrastructure that affects environmental outcomes. The federalist structure also interacts with the choice of economic instruments; a national emissions cap erodes the additionality of actions by subnational governments. Even the flagship application of sulfur dioxide emissions trading has been outperformed by the venerable Clean Air Act, and greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are on course to be less than they would have been if Congress had frozen emissions with a cap in 2009. The widespread application of economic tools requires a stronger political theory of how they interact with governing institutions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-12-41.
Date of creation: 24 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
environmental federalism; additionality; emissions cap; Clean Air Act; sulfur dioxide; carbon dioxide;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
- H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2012-09-22 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2012-09-22 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2012-09-22 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-RES-2012-09-22 (Resource Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Why is there so little Economics in environmental policy?
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-10-04 14:11:00
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