Articles in Journals

Nordhaus, William D, Robert N Stavins, and Martin L Weitzman. “Comments on 'Lethal Model 2: The Limits to Growth Revisited' by William Nordhaus.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 1992 (1992): 44–50. Publisher's Version comments_onlethalmodel2.brookings.pdf


Stavins, Robert N, and Bradley W Whitehead. “Dealing with Pollution: Market-Based Incentives for Environmental Protection.” Environment 34 (1992): 7–11, 29–42. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A quest for innovative environmental policy instruments and a need for policies that harness rather than obstruct market forces has led to "pollution reduction credits" outlined in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Incentives and management of various pollutants are discussed.



Hahn, Robert W, and Robert N Stavins. “Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection: Integrating Theory and Practice.” The American Economic Review 82 (1992): 464–468. Publisher's Version incentives_envprotection_aer1992.pdf


Stavins, Robert N, and Bradley W Whitehead. “Pollution Charges for Environmental Protection: A Policy Link Between Energy and Environment.” Annual Review of Energy and the Environment 17 (1992): 187–210. Publisher's Version pollution_charges.pdf


Hahn, Robert W, and Robert N Stavins. “Incentive-Based Environmental Regulation: A New Era from an Old Idea.” Ecology Law Quarterly 18 (1991): 1–42. Publisher's Version incentive-based_environmental_regulation.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Alternative Renewable Resource Strategies: A Simulation of Optimal Use.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 19 (1990): 143–159. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The depletion of forested wetlands is a pressing environmental concern, but has wetland depletion and conversion to agricultural cropland been excessive? A dynamic analysis of resource exploitation in the presence of environmental consequences is required. The structure and parameters of a model of socially optimal wetland use are found to bear a well-defined relationship to those which emerge from a private-market model of wetland exploitation, providing a basis for internalizing environmental externalities and for identifying optimal resource-exploitation strategies. Empirical analysis focuses on the area of severest wetland losses in the United States, the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Plain.



Stavins, Robert N, and Adam B Jaffe. “Unintended Impacts of Public Investments on Private Decisions: The Depletion of Forested Wetlands.” The American Economic Review 80 (1990): 337–352. Publisher's VersionAbstract

By affecting relative economic returns, public infrastructure investments can induce major changes in private land use. We find that 30 percent of forested wetland depletion in the Mississippi Valley has resulted from private decisions induced by federal flood-control projects, despite explicit federal policy to preserve wetlands. Our model aggregates individual land-use decisions using a parametric distribution of unobserved land quality; dynamic simulations are used to quantify the impacts on wetlands of federal projects and other factors.



Stavins, Robert N. “Clean Profits: Using Economic Incentives to Protect the Environment.” Policy Review 48 (1989): 58–63. clean_profits.pdf


Stavins, Robert N. “Harnessing Market Forces to Protect the Environment.” Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 31 (1989): 5–35. Publisher's Version harnessing_market_forces.pdf


Stavins, Robert. “A Model of English Demographic Changes: 1573–1873.” Explorations in Economic History 25 (1988): 98–116. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This paper documents an analysis of English demographic change over the period 1573–1873. A simultaneous equations model is developed in order to test four alternative demographic theories—the constant equilibrium wage theory, the constant fertility theory, Lee's original (1973) synthesis theory, and a new, composite theory. Each is a special case of a general demographic model which provides both for exogenous technological change and for endogenous migration behavior. Two-stage least-squares estimation yields parameter estimates and test statistics, which provide evidence of the superiority of the composite theory of demographic change. By statistically affirming the composite theory of demographic change, this paper confirms that the mortality level played a dominant role in English demographic change during the preindustrial period. The analysis also provides support, however, for the classical notion that shifts in the labor demand function were a dominant cause of long-run population changes, subsequent to the beginning of British industrialization.