The Determinants of Pesticide Regulation: A Statistical Analysis of EPA Decisionmaking

Maureen L. Cropper, William N. Evans, Stephen J. Berardi, Maria M. Ducla-Soares and Paul R. Portney , Journal of Political Economy. Reprinted in The Political Economy of Environmental Protection: Analysis and Evidence, Editor Roger Congleton, Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press (1996). 100(1) , 175-197 , February 1992.

This paper examines the EPA's decision to cancel or continue the registration of cancer-causing pesticides that went through the special review process between 1975 and 1989. Despite claims to the contrary, the authors' analysis indicates that the EPA indeed balanced risks to health and the environment against benefits in regulating pesticides. Intervention by special interest groups was also important in the regulatory process. The authors' analysis suggests that the EPA is capable of weighing benefits and costs when regulating environmental hazards; however, the implicit value placed on health risks--$35 million per applicator cancer case avoided--may be considered high by some persons.

Links to Researchers