Introduction to the Political Economy of Environmental Regulation

30 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2004

See all articles by Robert N. Stavins

Robert N. Stavins

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Resources for the Future; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 2004

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Economics - economic and econometric theory, environment and natural resources, political science, regulation

JEL Classification: Q29, L52, K29

Suggested Citation

Stavins, Robert N., Introduction to the Political Economy of Environmental Regulation (January 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=500143 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.500143

Robert N. Stavins (Contact Author)

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