pieces

Retaking Rationality

That America’s natural environment has been degraded and despoiled over the past 25 years is beyond dispute. Nor has there been any shortage of reasons why-short-sighted politicians, a society built on over-consumption, and the dramatic weakening of environmental regulations . . .

The Globalization of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Policy

Cost-benefit analysis — the formal estimating and weighing of the costs and benefits of policy alternatives — is a standard tool for governments in advanced economies. The Globalization of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Policy examines how cost-benefit analysis can help developing and emerging countries confront the next generation of environmental and public-health challenges . . .

Cost-Benefit Analysis and Agency Independence

There is a prevailing view that the role of cost-benefit analysis in the executive branch is to help facilitate control of agencies by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). This Article challenges that view, arguing that cost-benefit analysis in fact helps preserve agency autonomy in the face of oversight . . .

Rethinking Health-Based Environmental Standards

This Article argues that health-based standards, which are one of the principal approaches to setting the stringency of environmental requirements in the United States, exhibit two serious pathologies: the stopping-point problem and the inadequacy paradox . . .

The Measurement of Subjective Value and Its Relation to Contingent Valuation and Environmental Public Goods

Environmental public goods—including national parks, clean air/water, and ecosystem services—provide substantial benefits on a global scale. In this study, we test the hypothesis that neural signals in areas correlated with subjective valuations for essentially all other previously studied categories of goods also correlate with environmental valuations . . .

Setting the Social Cost of Carbon

The ‘social cost of carbon’ is an economic concept that represents – in monetary net present value terms – the damages caused by the emission of a ton of carbon dioxide. Estimates of the social cost of carbon are currently used by governments to evaluate policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions . . .

Environmental Law and Economics

The law and economics perspective provides a useful lens for many environmental policy questions. Normative deliberation concerning the construction of environmental policy can be informed by an economics perspective. Economic analysis can also be brought to bear on empirical questions concerning the effects of environmental policies and the political economy factors that affect the selection of environmental policies . . .

The Perils of Experimentation

More than eighty years after Justice Brandeis coined the phrase “laboratories of democracy,” the concept of policy experimentation retains its currency as a leading justification for decentralized governance. This Article examines the downsides of experimentation, and in particular the potential for decentralization to lead to the production of information that exacerbates public choice failures . . .

Bending the Law

Law search is fundamental to legal reasoning and its articulation is an important challenge and open problem in the ongoing efforts to investigate legal reasoning as a formal process. This Article formulates a mathematical model that frames the behavioral and cognitive framework of law search as a sequential decision process . . .

Regulating Regulation: Impact Assessment and Trade

Recent generations of international trade agreements have attempted to address non-tariff barriers in various ways, including by encouraging the adoption of regulatory impact assessment (RIA) by national governments. This chapter examines the benefits of RIA for trade in light of experience over the past several decades . . .

Computationally Assisted Participatory Rulemaking

With the increased politicization of agency rulemaking and the reduced cost of participating in the notice-and-comment rulemaking process, administrative agencies have, in recent years, found themselves deluged in a flood of public comments. In this Article, we explore how advances in natural language processing technologies can help agencies address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities created by the recent growth of public participation in the regulatory process . . .

Economics and Environmental Law Scholarship

The economic perspective has had an important, if constrained, influence on environmental law scholarship. Despite having a vast influence in other legal areas, economics has penetrated less fully into the field of environmental law. Some scholars, especially those of an economic bent, might bemoan this state of affairs . . .

Sociopolitical Feedbacks and Climate Change

This Article investigates sociopolitical feedbacks in the climate-economy system. These feedbacks occur when climate change affects the social or political processes that determine mitigation or adaptation levels, which in turn affect future climate damages . . .

Law as Data

In recent years, the digitization of legal texts, combined with developments in the fields of statistics, computer science, and data analytics, have opened entirely new approaches to the study of law. This volume explores the new field of computational legal analysis, an approach marked by its use of legal texts as data . . .

Administrative Law in an Era of Partisan Volatility

Contemporary politics is characterized by a polarized national discourse,
weak party organizations, volatile control of government, and an increasingly assertive executive. These political dynamics interact with a system of administrative law inherited from different political times that is ill-suited to
addressing the risks of the current moment . . .

Assessing the Rationale for the U.S. EPA’s Proposed “Strengthening Transparency In Regulatory Science” Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a new policy that would prohibit the agency from issuing regulations that rely on studies whose underlying data are not publicly available. While the EPA claims it is pursuing this policy in the interest of transparency, we argue that such a prohibition would greatly hinder, rather than help, the rulemaking process . . .

Modeling Law Search as Prediction

Law search is fundamental to legal reasoning and its articulation is an important challenge and open problem in the ongoing efforts to investigate legal reasoning as a formal process. This Article formulates a mathematical model that frames the behavioral and cognitive framework of law search as a sequential decision process . . .

The Problem of Data Bias in the Pool of Published U.S. Appellate Court Opinions

For decades, researchers have studied the relationship between the political leanings of judges and the outcomes of appellate litigation in the United States. The primary source of data for this research has been published judicial opinions that describe cases and their outcomes . . .

Reviving Rationality

For decades, administrations of both political parties have used cost-benefit analysis to evaluate and improve federal policy in a variety of areas, including health and the environment. Today, this model is under grave threat . . .

Computational Methods in Legal Analysis

The digitization of legal texts and advances in artificial intelligence, natural language processing, text mining, network analysis, and machine learning have led to new forms of legal analysis by lawyers and law scholars. This article provides an overview of how computational methods are affecting research across the varied landscape of legal scholarship . . .

Rule by Rules

From at least Leibniz, the dream of removing human beings from the loop of legal reasoning has captured the imaginations of philosophers, lawyers, and (more recently) computer scientists . . .