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Assigning priority to environmental policy interventions in a heterogeneous world

  • Paul J. Ferraro

    (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University)

Failure to consider costs as well as benefits is common in many policy initiatives and analyses, particularly in the environmental arena. Economists and other policy scientists have demonstrated that integrating both cost and benefit information explicitly into the policy process can be vital to ensuring that scarce funds go as far as they can toward achieving policy objectives. The costs of acquiring and analyzing such information, however, can be substantial. The objective of this paper is to help policy analysts and practitioners identify the conditions under which integrating cost and benefit information is likely to be vital to effective decisionmaking, and the conditions under which failing to use both cost and benefit data would result in little, if any, loss in efficiency. These points are illustrated through a conceptual discussion and an empirical analysis of a conservation initiative in the United States. © 2003 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.10094
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Volume (Year): 22 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 27-43

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:22:y:2003:i:1:p:27-43
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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  1. David Zilberman, 1996. "The Economics of a Public Fund for Environmental Amenities: A Study of CRP Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 961-971.
  2. Stephen Polasky & Jeffrey D. Camm & Brian Garber-Yonts, 2001. "Selecting Biological Reserves Cost-Effectively: An Application to Terrestrial Vertebrate Conservation in Oregon," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(1), pages 68-78.
  3. Robert Innes & Stephen Polasky & John Tschirhart, 1998. "Takings, Compensation and Endangered Species Protection on Private Lands," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 35-52, Summer.
  4. Benjamin M. Simon & Craig S. Leff & Harvey Doerksen, 1995. "Allocating scarce resources for endangered species recovery," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 415-432.
  5. Babcock, Bruce A. & Lakshminarayan, P. G. & Wu, JunJie & Zilberman, David, 1996. "Economics of a Public Fund for Environmental Amenities (The)," Staff General Research Papers 1065, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Gardner M. Brown & Jason F. Shogren, 1998. "Economics of the Endangered Species Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 3-20, Summer.
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