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Environmental Decision Making and Economics

Environmental policies and programs are intended to protect the health and well being of humans and ecosystems. Policies that protect the environment also provide economic value and other benefits to society. Federal environmental laws typically require some economic analyses to be conducted by implementing agencies.

Methods commonly used by economists to measure public values include revealed or stated preference methods and contingent valuation. Representatives of the public are surveyed, or choices made by individuals or supported by the public in local government forums are determined, to learn how various types of environmental protection have been valued. Measures used by ecologists to describe the functions and services of healthy ecosystems are also central to valuing the benefits of environmental protection. Each of these types of approach are furthered by research supported by the STAR program.

  • STAR Report #8 (PDF) (10 pp, 771 K, about PDF) describes economic and ecological research supported by EPA's STAR program to meet the needs for cost, benefit and valuation information to support environmental decision making.
  • State of Science Report underway: A report will be developed characterizing the state of the science in valuation and suggesting priority areas for investing research funds.
  • April 26-27, 2004 - Corporate Environmental Behavior and the Effectiveness of Government Interventions Workshop | Proceedings |
  • May 1 - May 2, 2003 - Market Mechanisms and Incentives: Applications to Environmental Policy | Agenda | Proceedings |
  • November 6 - 7, 2001 - Economic Valuation of Mortality Risk Reduction: Assessing the State of the Art for Policy Applications | Agenda | Proceedings |
  • May 9, 2000 - Community Based Environmental Decision Making | Agenda | Proceedings |
  • October 12 - 13, 2000 - Stated Preference: What do we know? Where do we go? | Agenda | Proceedings |
  • March 24 - March 25, 1999 - Valuing Health for Environmental Policy with Special Emphasis on Children's Health Issues | Agenda | Proceedings |
  • April 21 - April 22, 1999 - Economic Research and Policy Concerning Water Use and Watershed Management | Agenda | Proceedings |
  • December 2, 1999
    Economic Analysis and Land Use Policy | Agenda | Proceedings |
  • October 29, 1998 - Valuing and Managing Ecosystems: Economic Research Sponsored by NSF/EPA | Agenda | Proceedings |

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