The Case of Financial Services
The viability and desirability of conducting cost-benefit analysis of financial regulation is a subject of intense academic debate. Opponents claim that such analysis is feasible for environmental regulation but not for financial regulation because of the difference in the benefits that require monetization in the respective areas. This article, which will be published in a forthcoming edition of the Yale Journal on Regulation, argues that the recent debate misses an important part of the problem. In large part, cost-benefit analysis of financial regulation cannot currently be performed successfully because of institutional shortcomings, not analytical difficulties. Compared to Executive Branch agencies, independent agencies, like the major financial regulatory agencies, lack the capacity to do cost-benefit analyses of acceptable quality. Fortunately, there are good Executive Branch models that could be exported to the financial regulatory agencies.
As distributed energy generation is becoming increasingly common, the debate on how a utility’s customers should be compensated for the excess energy they sell back to the grid is intensifying. This article provides a thorough analysis of the benefits and the costs of distributed generation and highlights the analytical flaws and missing elements in the competing positions and in all the existing policies.
A Survey of Legal Precedents for the Clean Power Plan
In this essay, we highlight a wide variety of regulations from the Clean Air Act’s forty-five-year history that provide substantial precedent for the flexible design of the Clean Power Plan.
Establishing Expert Consensus on the Economics of Climate Change
This working paper offers detailed analysis of our survey of economic experts on climate change issues. We surveyed all those who published an article on climate change in a highly ranked economics journal over the past 20 years. The survey focused on estimated climate impacts and appropriate policy responses, and the results reveal several areas where expert consensus exists on these issues.
Inconsistent Positions and Missed Opportunities
This Essay examines and explains the positions of the principal interest groups over the past four decades with respect to the two central questions of environmental policy: the appropriate policy goal and the instrument that should be used to carry out the policy. While environmental groups and industry have largely switched positions on the two central questions of environmental policy, the points at which their positions overlapped were fleeting, and opportunities to make substantial progress in rationalizing the system of environmental regulation have largely been unrealized.
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