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Publications

Viewing all publications in Academic Articles/Working Papers
  • Annual Energy Outlook Projections and the Future of Solar PV Electricity
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Annual Energy Outlook Projections and the Future of Solar PV Electricity

    By Noah Kaufman
    April 22, 2014

    The topic of this paper is the assumed growth of solar photovoltaic (PV) in current energy models, with a focus on information from Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA resolves the difficulty of modeling solar energy into the future by assuming its current growth will not continue. However, EIA’s assumptions on the future costs of solar PV are highly pessimistic, and its methodology would appear to bias its “Reference Case” projections toward lower growth of solar energy. Sure enough, past AEOs have systematically underestimated the future growth of solar PV. Energy modelers therefore may need to adjust the AEO forecast in order to reflect a most likely baseline trajectory for solar PV.

  • Rethinking Health-Based Environmental Standards
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Rethinking Health-Based Environmental Standards

    By Michael A. Livermore and Richard L. Revesz
    April 9, 2014

    In Whitman v. American Trucking, the Supreme Court interpreted the Clean Air Act to require the EPA to set the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), without considering costs. Instead, the agency must rely exclusively on health-related criteria. The authors argue that such health-based standards are problematic because there is no coherent way to set the permissible level of pollution based on health considerations alone and, ironically, the NAAQS have generally been set at levels that are inefficiently lax from an economic perspective. The authors urge a reinterpretation of the American Trucking case that would allow the EPA to consider costs-benefit analysis when it would lead to more stringent standards, as it currently does for most regulated pollutants.

  • Global Warming: Improve Economic Models of Climate Change
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Global Warming: Improve Economic Models of Climate Change

    By Richard L. Revesz, Peter H. Howard, Kenneth Arrow, Lawrence H. Goulder, Robert E. Kopp, Michael A. Livermore, Michael Oppenheimer, and Thomas Sterner
    April 4, 2014

    Costs of carbon emissions are being underestimated, but current estimates are still valuable for setting mitigation policy, say Richard L. Revesz, Peter H. Howard, Kenneth Arrow, Lawrence H. Goulder, Robert E. Kopp, Michael A. Livermore, Michael Oppenheimer, and Thomas Sterner.

  • Quantifying Regulatory Benefits
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Quantifying Regulatory Benefits

    By Richard L. Revesz
    January 7, 2014

    The author responds to an argument made by Cass Sunstein that administrative agencies should use breakeven analysis when unable to quantify benefits of a specific regulation. Breakeven analysis seeks to determine how high nonquantifiable benefits of a regulation would have to be for the benefits to justify the costs. In this Comment, the author argues that breakeven analysis can be useful but is always a second-best technique. The first-best approach is to quantify the benefit.

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis and Agency Independence
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Cost-Benefit Analysis and Agency Independence

    By Michael A. Livermore
    January 7, 2014

    In “Cost-Benefit Analysis and Agency Independence,” Professor Michael A. Livermore argues that cost-benefit analysis provides a standard that constrains the exercise of OIRA’s power, helping to preserve the autonomy of government agencies in the face of White House review. This argument challenges the prevailing view that cost-benefit analysis is a tool for the President to impose authority over executive agencies.