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Thirty Years of Economics at the Environmental Protection Agency


  • McGartland, Al


When the modern era of environmental policy began with creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, economists and economics were little used. Over time, economics became a major contributor to formation of environmental policy. Executive Order 12291 pushed economics into the policy process but also rendered benefit-cost analysis controversial. I report on economics’ role in the policy process over time and examine contributions by economists to environmental policymaking. Advancing benefit-cost analysis is an obvious contribution. I describe other areas in which economists have contributed and highlight milestones for economics at EPA.

Suggested Citation

  • McGartland, Al, 2013. "Thirty Years of Economics at the Environmental Protection Agency," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(3), pages 436-452, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:agrerw:v:42:y:2013:i:03:p:436-452_00

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    Cited by:

    1. David A. Keiser & Catherine L. Kling & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2019. "The low but uncertain measured benefits of US water quality policy," The National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116(12), pages 5262-5269, March.
    2. Jayson L. Lusk, 2017. "Evaluating the Policy Proposals of the Food Movement," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 387-406.
    3. Daniel R. Petrolia & Dennis Guignet & John C. Whitehead & Cannon Kent & Clay Caulder & Kelvin Amon, 2020. "Nonmarket Valuation in the Environmental Protection Agency's Regulatory Process," Working Papers 20-11, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.

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