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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .