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Introduction to the Political Economy of Environmental Regulations

  • Stavins, Robert

This paper introduces a volume of collected papers on the political economy of environmental regulation: economic analyses of the processes through which political decisions regarding environmental regulation are made, principally in the institutional context found in the United States. Despite this geographic focus, many of the papers contain analytical models that are methodologically of interest and/or have lessons that are relevant in other parts of the world. In the environmental realm, questions of political economy emerge along three fundamental dimensions, which are closely interrelated but conceptually distinct: (1) the degree of government activity; (2) the form of government activity; and (3) the level of government that has responsibility. The first three parts of the book deal respectively with these three fundamental dimensions of inquiry. Part I features a set of six articles that examine how the targets and goals of individual environmental policies are established. Part II brings together nine articles that employ the analytical apparatus of positive political economy to address questions related to the choice of policy instruments for environmental regulation. Part III features four articles that examine — both positively and normatively — the level of government that is delegated responsibility for environmental protection. Finally, in Part IV, three articles are featured that assess the use of economic analysis in contemporary environmental policy.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-04-12.

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Date of creation: 25 Feb 2004
Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-04-12
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  29. Hamilton, James T, 1997. "Taxes, Torts, and the Toxics Release Inventory: Congressional Voting on Instruments to Control Pollution," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 745-62, October.
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  36. Cropper, Maureen L. & William N. Evans & Stephen J. Berard & Maria M. Ducla-Soares & Paul R. Portney, 1992. "The Determinants of Pesticide Regulation: A Statistical Analysis of EPA Decision Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 175-197, February.
  37. Fredriksson, Per G. & Millimet, Daniel L., 2002. "Strategic Interaction and the Determination of Environmental Policy across U.S. States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 101-122, January.
  38. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
  39. Hahn, Robert W, 1989. "Economic Prescriptions for Environmental Problems: How the Patient Followed the Doctor's Orders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 95-114, Spring.
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  41. Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard, 1998. "The Political Economy of Market-Based Environmental Policy: The U.S. Acid Rain Program," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 37-83, April.
  42. Congleton, Roger D, 1992. "Political Institutions and Pollution Control," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 412-421, August.
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