environmental economics

Environmentalists versus Economists: Time for a Truce?

Environmentalists should rethink their view of environmental economics, for both intellectual and practical reasons.


Accounting for The Harm of Coal

Much of the effort to rollback current EPA regulations focuses on coal-fired electrical power plants.  An article in the August issues of the American Economic Review sheds light on the issues at stake.  “Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy” is an effort to assess the damages caused by various polluting activities. The …


Environmental Law and “The Law of the Horse”

“The Law of the Horse” is the title of the (perhaps apocryphal) treatise on the same subject.  The point of the reference is that “there’s no there there,” as Gertrude Stein might have said: the law of the horse would simply be a compendium of contract cases that happened to involve horses, tort cases that …


Why Economists Are Right and the Tea Party is Wrong About Government

The idea that the government should protect public goods and regulate externalities is just common sense.As I said earlier, economists tend to be fairly hard-nosed in applying these arguments, and they tend to favor cap-and-trade or pollution taxes more than conventional regulation. They also tend (in the view of some of us) to undervalue economic benefits and shortchange long-term human interests. But it would be hard to find a reputable economist, for example, who thinks we should do nothing about climate change, although there’s plenty of disagreement about how much we should do and how quickly.


Recent Work in Environmental Economics

What are environmental economists thinking about these days? Mostly energy and clmate change, it would seem.  Here’s a roundup of the most significant recent papers posted at SSRN’s environmental economics journal.  I’ve included links to those with free downloads: “Airline Emission Charges: Effects on Airfares, Service Quality, and Aircraft Design” JAN K. BRUECKNER and ANMING …


Putting a Price on Carbon: Is It Needed? Is It Enough?

The bottom line seems to be that we need to get the price of carbon right — or as close to “right” as possible — but we need subsidies for R & D and we need direct regulation of the major categories of emitters.