NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Richard L.. Revesz

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November 2007Environmental Law and Policy
with Robert Stavins: w13575
This chapter for the Handbook of Law and Economics provides an economic perspective of environmental law and policy. We examine the ends of environmental policy, that is, the setting of goals and targets, beginning with normative issues, notably the Kaldor-Hicks criterion and the related method of assessment known as benefit-cost analysis. We examine this analytical method in detail, including its theoretical foundations and empirical methods of estimation of compliance costs and environmental benefits. We review critiques of benefit-cost analysis, and examine alternative approaches to analyzing the goals of environmental policies.

We examine the means of environmental policy, that is, the choice of specific policy instruments, beginning with an examination of potential criteri...

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