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PREFACE (Updated August 2006) by Alan Carlin

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Environmental Economics Research at EPA


This report is an attempt to understand what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accomplished in the way of environmental economics studies and research since the Agency's creation in 1970, to outline what its significance may be, and to provide an introduction and guide to this literature for those who may wish to access this material in the future. It builds upon the most comprehensive existing inverntories of this literature, namely, the Environmental Economics Report Inventory (EERI) and the NSF/EPA Funding for Environmental Economics (FfEE). As such, it is limited to studies and research funded or carried out by the Offices of Research and Development and Policy, Planning and Evaluation. It also omits any research that may have been carried out by the Office of Research and Development between 1984 and 1990, which is not included in either database. In addition, it omits many important studies carried out by other EPA offices, many of which can be found in the Regulatory Economic Analyses Inventory (REAI). It is furthermore selective in its coverage of the reports included in the two included databases out of necessity rather than choice. EERM now includes over 450 reports, and it is impossible to do justice to each of them. It is hoped that as time and resources permit, however, more of the reports/research projects included in these two databases can be added. If so, this report can be easily changed in the future, however, since it is written in Lotus Notes, which is translated on-the-fly into HTML code for use on the Web; in fact, it is the first report originally written using Lotus Notes in EPA to my knowledge. Thus, it can be instantaneously updated and improved incrementally as opportunity and necessity may require, and these improvements can be immediately shared with all interested users of the World Wide Web.

Appendix 1 provides an overview of the history of economic research and analysis in the EPA Office of Research and Development and the Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation, follows its evolution from 1971 to 2005, and suggests its longer-run significance.

The Table of Contents View of this report builds upon the subject views (see the Subject View in EERM and in FfEE) found in the first two of these three databases mentioned above since it is organized according to the same general areas of environmental economics used in these databases. Most sections of this report will provide links to the corresponding subject views of EERM and FfEE. A Media View of this report is also available. To some extent, this report updates and expands on a report prepared in the early 1980s, Allen Kneese's Measuring the Benefits of Clean Air and Water (EE-0278A). This new report, however, is much more inclusive in that it is not restricted to research done by the University of Wyoming and Resources for the Future, as his was, but by necessity cannot review each report in anything like the depth done in the earlier report. Allen's report was originally organized more along media lines, although the Subject View is now available in the on-line or Lotus Notes version of his report.
Alan Carlin
March 20, 1998


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