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Environmental Economics Research Strategy (2005)

Paper Number: EE-0491

Document Date: 12/22/2005

Author(s): U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Subject Area(s):

Economic Analysis, Research Priorities, Human Health Valuation, Ecological Valuation, Environmental Behavior, Market Mechanisms, Market Incentives

Keywords:  Economic Analysis, Research Priorities, Human Health Valuation, Ecological Valuation, Environmental Behavior, Market Mechanisms, Market Incentives


The 2005 Environmental Economics Research Strategy (EERS) presents a conceptual framework for future economics and decision science research of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This research strategy identifies 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.  

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. 

EPA developed the EERS to guide future environmental economics research at the Agency. EPA program staff and managers identified desired research results, and external peer reviewers assisted EPA in developing a novel and feasible research agenda to meet these needs. Different program offices in EPA need different types of economics research to accomplish their individual missions. Regulatory offices need better tools to evaluate the costs and benefits of preventing or reducing pollution damage to health and ecosystems. Innovation and information offices need to understand how and when collaborative approaches can succeed and how and why information disclosure works to change firm or market behavior. Enforcement personnel need better tools to identify facilities for inspections and enforcement actions while identifying those who would benefit from technical assistance to improve environmental performance. All programs should understand how to design implementation strategies that will take advantage of market forces to reduce costs for businesses and the public and protect the environment. 

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.

There is a Main Report (51pp) followed by Appendices (96pp) containing more information on the survey and EPA Science Advisory Board peer review comments.

Report available at EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications.

This paper is part of the  Environmental Economics Research Inventory.

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