Moving to Markets in Environmental Regulation: Lessons from Twenty Years of Experience

By Jody Freeman; Charles D. Kolstad | Go to book overview

Preface

This book had its genesis in conversations that took place over a period of months in 2002, conversations that were helped along by fine Santa Barbara County wine. Our topic was environmental regulation—in particular the long-standing debate over command and control versus market-based environmental regulation—and our discussions made us wonder: How could two scholars—one of us an economist, the other a lawyer—be so concerned about the same problem yet have such different perspectives? The literatures we drew on seemed to have little in common, and our normative frameworks seemed like ships passing in the night. Were we typical? In what ways did economists think about these regulatory design issues differently than legal scholars? Beyond the differences in approach, what did each field actually know? Now that we had some experience with market-based regulations, what did the experience tell us? In particular, if we could draw on the most interesting and recent work in both fields, what would it tell us about how well market instruments had performed, relative to prescriptive regulation, to date? To answer these questions, we invited some of the brightest minds concerned with environmental regulation, from both economics and law, to prepare papers and convene for a focused one-day workshop in Santa Barbara in August 2003. Our hope was that the whole emerging from such a dialogue would be much more than the sum of the two disciplinary parts.

The result was quite remarkable. Over the course of the very long day, the intensity never waned. The conversation was relentlessly interesting and truly cross-disciplinary. There were fascinating moments of translation and synergy, agreement and disagreement. The interchange frequently surprised the group and led to questions and issues we had not

-v-

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