Quasi-Experimental and Experimental Approaches to Environmental Economics

60 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2007 Last revised: 18 Jun 2014

See all articles by Michael Greenstone

Michael Greenstone

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; Becker Friedman Institute for Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ted Gayer

Brookings Institution

Date Written: July 1, 2007

Abstract

This paper argues that an increased application of quasi-experimental and experimental techniques will improve understanding about core environmental economics questions. This argument is supported by a review of the limitations of associational evidence in assessing causal hypotheses. The paper also discusses the benefits of experiments and quasi-experiments, outlines some quasi-experimental methods, and highlights some threats to their validity. It then illustrates the quasi-experimental method by assessing the validity of a new one in environmental economics that seeks to estimate the impact of the Endangered Species Act on property markets in North Carolina. Ultimately, the greater application of experimental and quasi-experimental techniques has the potential to identify efficient policies that increase social welfare.

Suggested Citation

Greenstone, Michael and Gayer, Ted, Quasi-Experimental and Experimental Approaches to Environmental Economics (July 1, 2007). RFF Discussion Paper No. 07-22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1001330 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1001330

Michael Greenstone (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
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Becker Friedman Institute for Economics ( email )

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ted Gayer

Brookings Institution ( email )

1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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