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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999


Cost of Regulations

Item #d99apr44

According to a news brief from Resources for the Future, economists at that organization found that the costs of proposed environmental and occupational safety regulations are more often overestimated than underestimated. In their analysis, they compared the accuracy of estimates of the direct costs of more than two dozen regulations mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and several regulatory agencies outside the U.S. They found economic-incentive policies to be especially prone to overestimation of costs, although their sample was small. This finding could be of particular relevance to policies to combat global climate change, because most climate policy proposals have an important economic-incentive component.

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