Prospective or ex ante studies of the costs, benefits, and distributional impacts of new environmental regulations are now commonly performed in many countries. Retrospective analyses, which aim to document actual outcomes, are far less common. The purpose of this policy brief is to illustrate the value of retrospective analysis of environmental regulations, discuss the main challenges of conducting such studies, and make suggestions for facilitating the conduct of retrospective analyses. We examine recent examples of ex post analyses of three sets of U.S. regulations—the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Cluster Rule, the NOx Budget Program, and federal gasoline content regulations—and British Columbia’s carbon tax. Based on this review, we offer some lessons for facilitating future retrospective analysis of environmental regulations.
Working Paper — Jan 14, 2020
China’s Unconventional Nationwide CO₂ Emissions Trading System: The Wide-Ranging Impacts of an Implicit Output Subsidy
This paper assesses the overall costs and distributional impacts of China’s planned nationwide emissions trading system for CO2 emissions reductions, a system that will differ from cap and trade and become the largest CO2 trading system in the world.
Working Paper — Jan 6, 2020
Looking Back at Fifty Years of the Clean Air Act
After major expansion in 1970, the Clean Air Act led to substantial emissions reductions and health improvements—as well as some unintended consequences.
Report — Nov 11, 2019
How Clean is “Refined Coal”? An Empirical Assessment of a Billion-Dollar Tax Credit
Billions of dollars of taxpayer funds go to "refined" coal subsidies, but the associated emissions reductions may not meet the US tax code requirements.