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Prosecutorial Discretion at the EPA: Some Evidence on Litigation Strategy


  • Helland, Eric


This paper examines the determinants of the EPA's litigation strategy between 1977 and 1996 focusing on the tenure of Ann Gorsuch. Two hypotheses about this period are tested: (1) that changes in the EPA's litigation strategy were in fact an effort to reduce the expected penalty for violating environmental laws or (2) that the changes made in litigation strategy were consistent with efforts to reduce transaction cost. Contrary to previous research, I find no conclusive evidence of an overall shift toward business interests in EPA prosecutions. There is, however, clear evidence of shifts in the EPA's litigation strategy across administrations. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Helland, Eric, 2001. "Prosecutorial Discretion at the EPA: Some Evidence on Litigation Strategy," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 271-294, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:19:y:2001:i:3:p:271-94

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    Cited by:

    1. Rousseau Sandra & Billiet Carole, 2005. "How to determine fining behaviour in court? Game theoretical and empirical analysis," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0510, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
    2. Hutchinson, Emma & Kennedy, Peter W., 2008. "State enforcement of federal standards: Implications for interstate pollution," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 316-344, August.

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