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The Law and Economics of the Environment

Edited by Anthony Heyes, University of Ottawa, Canada
This outstanding book focuses on how economics can contribute to the design, implementation and appraisal of legal systems that create the ‘right’ incentives for environmental protection. The sixteen original and specially commissioned contributions – written by some of the leading names in their field – span many of the important areas of contemporary interest and employ case study material combined with theoretical, empirical and experimental research.
Extent: 424 pp
Hardback Price: $173.00 Web: $155.70
Publication Date: 2001
ISBN: 978 1 84064 339 8
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Law - Academic
  • Environmental Law
This outstanding book focuses on how economics can contribute to the design, implementation and appraisal of legal systems that create the ‘right’ incentives for environmental protection. The sixteen original and specially commissioned contributions – written by some of the leading names in their field – span many of the important areas of contemporary interest and employ case study material combined with theoretical, empirical and experimental research.

The book addresses many topical issues including: the fundamental notions of property rights and social norms; the design and implementation of civil liability regimes; the use of criminal law as an instrument of environmental policy; the role that citizen suits, self-monitoring and self-enforcement could and should play in the implementation of law; the international harmonisation of environmental law; and the treatment of environmental damages in courts. Cutting-edge economic technique is motivated by, and articulates with, real and pressing policy debates. The contributors refer to a range of legal cases and policy decisions, and draw out a host of policy implications and prescriptions for settings as diverse as Superfund reform in the US and the harmonisation of landfill regulations in the European Union.

By combining incisive overviews of the latest thinking and results, complemented by original analysis, The Law and Economics of the Environment will appeal to researchers and students of the environment, law and economics, policy practitioners and those with an interest in knowing what constitutes ‘good’ environmental law.
‘. . . their collection together here represents a valuable addition to the library of those who are concerned with studying, teaching analysing, practicing, or making, environmental law as well as students and practitioners of environmental economics.’
– David Hadley, The Economic Journal

‘The exploration of the basic economics of externalities and the basic common law doctrines and institutions for dealing with externalities constitute a "first generation" of economic analysis of environmental law. The present book of essays illustrates the "second generation" of economic analysis of environmental law. The fundamental economic issues, and the common law, are no longer the focus. The lessons of the "first generation" have been absorbed and transcended. The focus has shifted to the level of application, which is the level at which the economist and the lawyer-economist can best hope to influence policy. We are making progress and the essays in this volume will do much to assure that progress continues.’
– From the foreword by Richard A. Posner, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and University of Chicago Law School, US

‘One of the most exciting and productive areas of research in environmental policy is resulting from the integration of the traditionally separate fields of environmental economics and law and economics. This book brings together the top researchers engaged in this enterprise to share the useful insights that are emerging. Both in terms of the scope of coverage and the depth of analysis this is an absolutely first-rate book.’
– Tom Tietenberg, Colby College, Maine, US
Contributors: A. Alberini, D. Austin, J. Boyd, M. Boyer, R.T. Carson, D.J. Chapman, M.A. Cohen, P.K. Freeman, M. Hanemann, W. Harrington, A. Heyes, T.M. Hurley, D. Ingberman, R. Innes, H.C. Kunreuther, T.R. Lewis, R.C. Mitchell, C.V. Phillips, D. Porrini, R.A. Posner, T.A. Rhoads, D.E.M. Sappington, C. Settle, J.F. Shogren, H. Sigman, R.T. Smith, H. van Egteren, R.J. Zeckhauser
Contents: Preface 1. Law and Economics of the Environment: An Overview 2. Coasean Bargaining in Collaborative Environmental Policy 3. The Vertical Extension of Environmental Liability through Chains of Ownership, Contract and Supply 4. Horizontal Vicarious Liability 5. Liability Policy and Toxic Pollution Releases 6. The Economics of Clean-up and Implications for Legal Design 7. Environmental Liability in Practice: Liability for Clean-up of Contaminated Sites under Superfund 8. Self-enforcement of Environmental Law 9. The Theory of Penalties: ‘Leverage’ and ‘Dealing’ 10. Criminal Law as an Instrument of Environmental Policy: Theory and Empirics 11. Citizen Suits 12. Law versus Regulation: A Political Economy Model of Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy 13. International Harmonization of Environmental Law: Theory with Application to the European Union 14. Insurability, Environmental Risks and the Law 15. Environmental Damages in Court: The American Trader Case 16. Protest, Property Rights and Hazardous Waste: A Reassessment Index