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

  • A. Myrick Freeman III
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    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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    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. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Morgenstern, Richard & Harrington, Winston & Nelson, Per-Kristian, 1999. "On the Accuracy of Regulatory Cost Estimates," Discussion Papers dp-99-18, Resources For the Future.
    4. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
    5. 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, June.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Stavins, Robert, 1998. "Market-Based Environmental Policies," Discussion Papers dp-98-26, Resources For the Future.
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