Institute for Policy Integrity

Twitter @policyintegrity

Publications

Viewing all publications in Academic Articles/Working Papers
  • Regulation and Distribution
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Regulation and Distribution

    By Richard Revesz
    March 2, 2018

    Most regulations seek to improve social welfare, but maximizing overall welfare may not help or protect all groups evenly. Many economists suggest handling unequal regulatory effects through the tax system. But some harms—like the disproportionately high environmental pollution felt by poor and minority communities and loss of the employment base in rural communities due to shifts in the economy—cannot be addressed by monetary compensation alone. A new article by Richard Revesz offers a blueprint for establishing a standing, broadly constituted interagency body charged with addressing serious negative consequences of regulatory measures on particular groups.

  • Mineral Royalties
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Mineral Royalties

    Historical Uses and Justifications

    By Jayni Foley Hein and Caroline Cecot
    February 28, 2018

    Governments and private landowners have collected royalties on mineral resources for centuries. When comprehensive measures to account for the environmental externalities of mineral extraction are politically or practically unavailable, federal and state governments may consider adjusting royalty rates as an expedient way to account for these externalities and benefit society. One key policy question that has not received attention, however, is whether a royalty rate can and should be manipulated in this way, assuming statutory discretion to do so.

    This article fills that gap by evaluating the argument for increasing federal or state fossil fuel royalty rates through historical, theoretical, and practical lenses. To that end, this article in turn considers the meaning of royalties, the economic justifications for royalties, the legislative history of the implementation of federal royalties, and the considerations that private landowners have relied upon in setting royalties. This article concludes that it would be appropriate for governments to adjust mineral royalty rates to account for negative externalities not otherwise addressed by regulation or to otherwise promote public welfare. Such use of royalties is consistent with the historical record. Royalties have been used as pragmatic policy tools from almost their inception, and federal and state governments have often exercised their existing statutory discretion to adjust mineral royalty rates to promote public welfare.

  • Deregulation: Process and Procedures That Govern Agency Decisionmaking in an Era of Rollbacks
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Deregulation: Process and Procedures That Govern Agency Decisionmaking in an Era of Rollbacks

    By Bethany Davis Noll and Denise Grab
    November 16, 2017

    Though change might be inevitable when a new governing party comes to power, the United States’ legal system imposes a degree of predictability and regularity on that change. Since his inauguration in January 2017, President Donald Trump and his agency heads have been working to repeal many energy and environmental regulations issued under prior administrations. But these attempts are governed by a set of standard rules that limit President Trump’s freedom to roll back regulations.

  • Best Cost Estimate of Greenhouse Gases
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Best Cost Estimate of Greenhouse Gases

    By Richard Revesz, Michael Greenstone, Michael Hanemann, Michael Livermore, Thomas Sterner, Denise Grab, Peter Howard, and Jason Schwartz
    August 18, 2017

    Despite the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the official estimate of the Social Cost of Carbon and disband the interagency working group that developed it, a group of prominent economists and lawyers, including several Policy Integrity staff members, have highlighted the metric’s continued validity for policymaking in recent letter published in the journal Science.

  • Estimating the Health Benefits of Environmental Regulations
    Academic Article/Working Paper

    Estimating the Health Benefits of Environmental Regulations

    By Al McGartland, Richard Revesz, Daniel A. Axelrad, Chris Dockins, Patrice Sutton, and Tracey J. Woodruff
    August 4, 2017

    Regulating toxic pollutants benefits society by limiting public exposure to harmful pollution. By accurately quantifying these benefits, policymakers can improve the design of regulations that protect public health and better communicate the magnitude of these protections to the public. A new article in the journal Science examines how this process can be improved.