Chair's Lecture with Richard Morgenstern
"Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Regulations: Lessons Learned from the Past 30 Years"
Richard D. Morgenstern, Ph.D., Resources for the Future
March 14, 2014
Federal, state and local environmental laws have achieved significant improvements in public health over the past several decades. The development of these regulations also resulted in growing scrutiny about the costs and benefits of environmental rules. Traditionally the costs and benefits of a regulation are estimated prior to implementation of a law or regulation (what is known as “ex ante’ analysis), but there is also an increasing push to retrospectively analyze the impact of a regulation after implementation, through what is known as “ex post” analysis. The question is: how do the two forms of analysis compare? How accurate are the anticipated ex ante analyses when measured against the actual, measured costs of the ex post analysis?
Dr. Richard Morgenstern will present and discuss his research on the evaluation of environmental regulations and compare the costs and benefits of federal environmental regulations estimated both before and after implementation. Dr. Morgenstern's work highlights pitfalls that can lead to inaccurate results and proposes a way to conduct retrospective analyses in the future--to ensure that the estimation of regulatory costs is as targeted and focused as the underlying environmental regulations.
Richard D. Morgenstern, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF). Dr. Richard Morgenstern's research focuses on the economic analysis of environmental issues with an emphasis on the costs, benefits, evaluation, and design of environmental policies, especially economic incentive measures. His analysis also focuses on climate change, including the design of cost-effective policies to reduce emissions in the United States and abroad.
Immediately prior to joining RFF, Dr. Morgenstern was senior economic counselor to the undersecretary for global affairs at the U.S. Department of State, where he participated in negotiations for the Kyoto Protocol. Previously he served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he acted as deputy administrator (1993); assistant administrator for policy, planning, and evaluation (1991-93); and director of the Office of Policy Analysis (1983-95). Formerly a tenured professor at the City University of New York. Dr. Morgenstern has taught at Oberlin College, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Yeshiva University, and American University. He has served on expert committees of the National Academy of Sciences and as a consultant to various organizations.
Dr. Morgenstern received his A.B. degree in economics at Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan. Dr. Morgenstern has published dozens of articles on environmental economics and policy and he has authored/edited of several books, including New Approaches on Energy and the Environment: Policy Advices for the President (with Paul R. Portney) and Reality Check: "The Nature and the Performance of Voluntary Environmental Programs in the United States, Europe, and Japan" (with William A. Pizer).
The Chair of the California Air Resources Board invites guests to speak on environmental subjects involving air pollution and global warming. Find additional lectures on the Chair's Lecture Series webpage.