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An Economic Analysis of the Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act 1970 TO 1990: Revised Report of Results and Findings (2002)

Paper Number: EE-0565

Document Date: 08/01/2002

Author(s):  Jorgenson, Dale W., Goettle, Richard J

Subject Area(s):

Benefit-Cost Analysis, Clean Air Act, Economic Impact Analysis, Retrospective Analysis, General Equilibrium

Keywords:  Benefit-Cost Analysis, Economic Impact Analysis, air pollution control, retrospective analysis, computable general equilibrium


The Clean Air Act and its subsequent amendments to 1990 were legislative initiatives designed to improve air quality and reduced the adverse consequences of air pollution. As a result, they imposed costs on producers and consumers as economic activities were brought into compliance with their statutory requirements. However, they also secured improvements in air quality by reducing the lead content in gasoline and pollutant emissions to the ambient atmosphere. The analyses covered in this report examine the consequences of these costs and benefits for overall economic performance and welfare. They are based on the application of a multi-sector, inter-temporal general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy. The approach taken is to develop a counter-factual view of how the economy might have evolved had there been no Clean Air Act.

This paper is part of the  Environmental Economics Research Inventory.

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