EPA announced the release of a long-term strategy to conduct research in environmental economics and decision sciences that will further the agency's mission to protect public health and the environment. The “Environmental Economics Research Strategy” identifies and prioritizes research that will be conducted over the next five to 10 years to improve the scientific foundation for EPA's decision-making and policy initiatives.
Environmental economics and decision sciences study how people and firms make decisions about the environment, how they affect the environment and, in turn, how the environment affects Americans’ quality of life. Using this strategic roadmap, EPA will conduct research to learn how people value changes in environmental quality, how incentives influence responses to effectively improve environmental quality and how human behavior can be modified to encourage protection of the environment.
“Environmental policies based on sound economics and behavioral sciences can save society billions of dollars and effectively reduce risks to health and the environment,” said Dr. George Gray, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “This research is essential if we are to improve environmental quality at the lowest cost to businesses and governments.”
The research strategy focuses on improving the economic science used to evaluate the costs and benefits of environmental policies and to develop initiatives that will take advantage of predictable behavioral responses to efficiently achieve environmental quality goals. The research strategy requires the integration of economics and other environmental science disciplines at EPA.