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Choosing Environmental Policy: Comparing Instruments and Outcomes in the United States and Europe.


Edited by Winston Harrington, Richard Morgenstern, and Thomas Sterner. 1616 P Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036-1400: RFF Press, September 2004. (202) 328-5086. ISBN 1-891853-88-0. 283 pp. $32.95 Paperback.

The two distinct approaches to environmental policy include direct regulation--sometimes called "command and control" policies--and regulation by economic, or market-based, incentives. This book compares the costs and outcomes of these two approaches by examining their real world applications. Paired case studies from the United States and Europe contrast direct regulation on one side of the Atlantic with an incentive-based policy on the other. For example, one case study compares Germany's direct regulation of sulfur dioxide emissions with an incentive approach in the United States. Another case study contrasts the direct regulation of water pollution via the U.S. Clean Water Act with Holland's incentive-based fee system. Additional studies contrast solutions for eliminating leaded gasoline and reducing nitrogen oxide emissions, CFCs, and chlorinated solvents.

In practice, environmental policy is often a mix of both direct regulation and incentive-based strategies. Choosing Environmental Policy will interest scholars, students, and policy makers who want more precise information as to what kind of "blend" will yield the most effective policy.

Winston Harrington is a senior fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF). His previous books include Rules in the Making: A Statistical Analysis of Regulatory Agency Behavior (with Wesley A. Magat and Alan J. Krupnick) and Enforcing Pollution Control Laws (with Clifford S. Russell and William J. Vaughn).

Richard D. Morgenstern is a senior fellow at RFF. Previously, he served as senior economic counselor to the undersecretary for global affairs at the U.S. Department of State and as acting assistant administrator for policy, planning, and evaluation at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Thomas Sterner is a senior fellow at RFF and a professor of environmental economics at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His previous books include The Market and the Environment.. The Effectiveness of Market-Based Policy Instruments for Environmental Reform, Economic Policies for Sustainable Development, and Policy Instruments for Environmental and Natural Resource Management.
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Publication:Environmental Law
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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