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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .