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Quasi-experimental and experimental approaches to environmental economics

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  • Greenstone, Michael
  • Gayer, Ted

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Greenstone, Michael & Gayer, Ted, 2009. "Quasi-experimental and experimental approaches to environmental economics," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 21-44, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:57:y:2009:i:1:p:21-44
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