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  MIT Project on Environmental Politics & Policy

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Environmental Protection

Wetland Wildlife Habitat Conservation


   The Environment and the Economy
The Project continues to have a long term research focus on understanding the tradeoffs between environmental protection and economic performance at the national, state, and local levels.  

When and to what degree do stringent environmental regulations hinder economic growth?

What elements of rapid economic growth produce accelerated environmental degradation?

Where do opportunities for harmonizing strong environmental protection and healthy economic growth exist and where are prudent tradeoffs required


 Research Reports:

The Economic Impact of Environmental Regulation (1995)


This paper introduces both new data and new analytic techniques in an exploration for evidence that stronger environmental regulations slow economic growth.  The relative environmental standing and economic performance of the fifty states is compared for several periods from 1982 to 1993.  A revised version of this paper was published in the Journal of Environmental Law & Practice, Vol.3, No.2 (September/October), 1995.

Environmentalism and Economic Prosperity: An Update (1993) 

A further refinement of the original paper, examining other explanations for the results.

Environmental Protection and Economic Development in New England (1993) 

Are differences in the stringency of environmental laws among New England's six states reflected in their rates of economic growth and development? This paper, presented at the New Hampshire State Senate Economic Summit in 1993 presents evidence that stronger state environmental laws are associated with more stable economic development and growth patterns.

Environmentalism and Economic Prosperity: Testing the Environmental Impact Hypothesis (1992) 

this research paper is the first in a series of exploratory studies that searches for systematic evidence that environmental regulation has reduced the pace of economic growth and performance.  The primary purpose of the paper is to introduce rigor and specificity to the debate over the potential harmful economic impact of stronger environmental laws and to then set the stage for further analysis.


See also listings under Endangered Species.