Abstract

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Evaluating Environmental Policies


Lori Snyder Bennear


Duke University - Nicholas School for the Environment

Cary Coglianese


University of Pennsylvania Law School

November 1, 2004

Environment, Vol. 47, No. 2, p. 22, 2005
KSG Working Paper No. RWP04-049

Abstract:     
For too long, environmental policymaking has relied on trial and error, without adequate or systematic learning from either the trials or the errors. Systematic program evaluation research has been remarkably scarce relative to the overall number of environmental policies adopted in the United States, as well as relative to the amount of evaluation research found in other fields, such as medicine, education, or transportation safety. This paper examines the role that program evaluation should play in environmental policy making, distinguishing such research from other types of analysis, including risk assessment, cost-effectiveness analysis, and cost-benefit analysis. It explains the kinds of methodological practices that researchers should use to isolate the causal effects of particular environmental regulations and policies. By adhering to the program evaluation methods discussed in this paper, researchers will be better able to isolate the effects of specific policy interventions and help inform future policy decisions. A renewed and expanded commitment to program evaluation of environmental policy is needed to move environmental policy making closer to an evidence-based practice, and conditions are probably more ripe now for fostering such a commitment than they have ever been before.

Title change prior to publication: "Measuring Progress: Program Evaluation of Environmental Policies."

Number of Pages in PDF File: 38

Keywords: program evaluation, public policy, environmental policy and regulation

JEL Classification: I18, K23, K32, Q28

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Date posted: November 16, 2004 ; Last revised: February 12, 2012

Suggested Citation

Bennear, Lori Snyder and Coglianese, Cary, Evaluating Environmental Policies (November 1, 2004). Environment, Vol. 47, No. 2, p. 22, 2005; KSG Working Paper No. RWP04-049. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=619901 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.619901

Contact Information

Lori Snyder Bennear
Duke University - Nicholas School for the Environment ( email )
Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
United States
Cary Coglianese (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )
3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-6867 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.upenn.edu/coglianese
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