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Our History and Approach

The Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU School of Law is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to improving the quality of government decisionmaking. We produce original scholarly research in the fields of economics, law, and regulatory policy. We also advocate for reform before courts, legislatures, and executive agencies.

Economic analysis can be an advocate’s most powerful tool. When analyzed correctly, the numbers often support strong government protections for the environment, public health, and consumers. Through academic research and advocacy, the Institute for Policy Integrity works to identify and support economically sound policies in these critical areas.

Policy Integrity was founded in 2008 by Richard Revesz and Michael Livermore to focus on the principles outlined in their book, Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health. During his time serving on a Clinton-era EPA advisory panel, Revesz noticed that environmental groups often failed to attend meetings or engage in key, winnable battles because they weren’t willing or able to use economics to make their case. Meanwhile, industry groups would turn up with talented lawyers and economists to push their interests. Cost-benefit analysis was often used in a biased fashion, leading to deregulation or watered-down rules. Policy Integrity began working to address this problem, collaborating with a wide range of partners in the advocacy community to engage in policy proceedings and show that smart government protections are often cost-benefit justified.

In the years since our founding, we have continued to argue for improved government decisionmaking and a rational approach to environmental and regulatory policy. We have also published widely cited legal and economic research and contributed to major policy victories at federal, state, and local levels. 

Policy Integrity has grown significantly in recent years, gaining support from some of the world’s most prestigious foundations and partnering with dozens of prominent advocacy groups, helping them use economic arguments to protect the public interest. We hope you’ll follow our work and consider supporting our efforts.