Environmental Law and Economics

Parisi, Francesco (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics. Oxford University Press (Forthcoming)

Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 2014-06

43 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2014 Last revised: 11 Feb 2014

See all articles by Michael A. Livermore

Michael A. Livermore

University of Virginia School of Law

Richard L. Revesz

New York University School of Law

Date Written: January 24, 2014

Abstract

Since the publication of Revesz and Stavins (2007), there have been some significant normative advances in the area of environmental law and economics. For example, the emergence of climate change as the area of central concern for environmental regulation has brought a great deal of attention to the question of how to discount benefits that accrue into the far future and primarily affect individuals not yet born. Also, the rise of behavioral law and economics has created a shift away from exclusive reliance on neoclassical models.

But the most significant changes have been on the positive side. In particular, the traditional alignment of interest groups has come close to experiencing an about-face. Conservative, anti-regulatory groups traditionally favored cost-benefit analysis, market-based instruments, and decentralization. Progressive, pro-regulatory groups traditionally opposed these approaches. In recent years, however, the tables have often been turned. These shifts suggest that commitment to principles is secondary to commitment to substantive regulatory outcomes, with groups of both sides of the spectrum availing themselves of whatever argument will better promote their preferences concerning the stringency of regulation.

Keywords: Law and Economics; Regulated Industries and Administrative Law; Environmental Health and Safety Law; Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; General; Government Policy

JEL Classification: K23, K32, Q30, Q38

Suggested Citation

Livermore, Michael A. and Revesz, Richard L., Environmental Law and Economics (January 24, 2014). Parisi, Francesco (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics. Oxford University Press (Forthcoming) ; Virginia Law and Economics Research Paper No. 2014-06. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2388883 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2388883

Michael A. Livermore

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

Richard L. Revesz (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
212-998-6185 (Phone)
212-995-4590 (Fax)

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