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Environmental Economics Research Strategy

Learn more about the Environmental Economics Research Strategy below. 

Abstract


Economics research is an essential component for developing environmental policy. EPA developed the Environmental Economics Research Strategy (EERS) to guide future environmental economics research directions at the Agency. EERS authors interviewed EPA staff and managers to identify research priorities. These priorities were compared with existing research to establish strategic objectives whereby allocation of EPA resources could help the Agency and its clients to achieve their missions. The strategy and research objectives were peer reviewed by the EPA Science Advisory Board. The strategic research objectives include: (1) human health valuation; (2) ecological valuation; (3) environmental behavior and decision-making; (4) market mechanisms and incentives; and (5) benefits of environmental information disclosure. These strategic objectives frequently require an interdisciplinary approach to develop sound research. EPA will devote internal and extramural resources to filling the most important research gaps in these areas and will develop interdisciplinary teams when needed.

What is the Environmental Economics Research Strategy (EERS)?


The 2005 Environmental Economics Research Strategy presents a conceptual framework for future economics and decision science research of the EPA. This research strategy outlines the economics and decision science research areas important to EPA programs and EPA’s planned research agenda in these areas. This program implements components of the Office of Research and Development’s (ORD’s) Strategic Plan and is consistent with priorities outlined in EPA’s 2003 Strategic Plan.

Why is the EERS important?


This research strategy outlines EPA’s research effort to provide the necessary behavioral science foundation for making decisions and designing environmental policies at the least cost to American businesses and consumers. To be effective, the Agency must understand how people and firms make decisions about and affect the environment and, in turn, how the environment affects Americans’ quality of life. High-quality environmental economics research is the best way to improve this understanding.

What topics are covered in the EERS?


The EERS’ major strategic research directions include research in: (1) human health valuation; (2) ecological valuation; (3) environmental behavior and decision-making; (4) market mechanisms and incentives; and (5) benefits of environmental information disclosure. These strategic objectives frequently require an interdisciplinary approach to develop sound research. EPA will address the most important research gaps in these areas and will develop interdisciplinary teams and partnerships with other agencies when needed.

Who is the EERS for?


The EERS is intended for EPA Program Offices, other federal agencies, academics, states, local governments, and others to consult to understand what EPA (in particular, the National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) and the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) has planned and the results the Agency expects. These parties can use the EERS to plan their own research or analyses to make the best use of EPA’s efforts. The EERS will guide research for several years or until circumstances change, at which time it will be revised.

How was the EERS produced?


The EERS was developed by a team from the National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE) and the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), working with EPA program offices, the Office of Research and Development (ORD) laboratories and centers, and EPA regions. NCEE provides research support and economic guidance to EPA programs, and NCER manages an economics and decision sciences research grants program. The findings of the EERS will guide research activities in both of these organizations and in ORD laboratories and centers, which provide multidisciplinary research support to programs and regions.

Download a copy of the EERS

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