The Production Function of Environmental Quality

Jonathan Nash (Emory University School of Law)
J.B. Ruhl (Vanderbilt Law School)
James Salzman (UCLA Law School; UC-Santa Barbara)

Abstract: While the connection between government funding and the success of government programs has received close study in many fields, there is a dearth of study as to the extent to which funding for the United States Environmental Protection Agency affects environmental quality. The issue is of growing importance as leaner economic times have led to substantial reductions in EPA funding. We offer some theoretical reasons both to expect, and not expect, a correlation between funding and environmental quality. After an empirical analysis in facts yields no statistically significant connection, we discuss the effects that budget cuts are likely to have on EPA operations, and in turn environmental quality.

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