Behavioral Instruments in Environmental Regulation

“Behavioral Instruments in Environmental Regulation,” in POLICY INSTRUMENTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (Edward Elgar) (Ken Richards and Josephine van Zeben, eds.) (Forthcoming).

University of Illinois College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-23

11 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2019

See all articles by Arden Rowell

Arden Rowell

University of Illinois College of Law

Date Written: February 6, 2019

Abstract

This chapter briefly describes the use and usefulness of behavioral and psychological instruments in environmental regulation. Behavioral instruments — tools for regulating behavior that build on empirical research about how people actually behave — can contribute to environmental law in at least two ways. First, behavioral research can be used descriptively to understand and to interrogate the behaviors that generate environmental impacts. This is useful because it can help flag where environmental law is most likely to run aground on behavioral phenomena, and because it can highlight areas where legal interventions may be most and least effective. Second, behavioral research is useful prescriptively for helping to identify effective mechanisms for shaping behavior towards preferred ends. The chapter gives an overview of three key findings in law and behavior (dual-process cognition, loss aversion, and time inconsistency), and describes two key instruments (default rules and framing) that build on the insights of behavioral research, and which can be used to shape people’s behavior towards environmental ends.

Keywords: psychology, behavior, heuristic, bias, cognitive, rationality, empirical, nudges, default rules, framing, prospect theory, loss aversion, irrational

JEL Classification: K1, K32, K42, K49

Suggested Citation

Rowell, Arden, Behavioral Instruments in Environmental Regulation (February 6, 2019). “Behavioral Instruments in Environmental Regulation,” in POLICY INSTRUMENTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (Edward Elgar) (Ken Richards and Josephine van Zeben, eds.) (Forthcoming). ; University of Illinois College of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3330205 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3330205

Arden Rowell (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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