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Full-Text Articles in Law

Deepwater Drilling: Law, Policy, And Economics Of Firm Organization And Safety, Mark A. Cohen, Madeline Gottlieb, Joshua Linn, Nathan Richardson Nov 2011

Deepwater Drilling: Law, Policy, And Economics Of Firm Organization And Safety, Mark A. Cohen, Madeline Gottlieb, Joshua Linn, Nathan Richardson

Vanderbilt Law Review

Although the causes of the Deepwater Horizon spill are not yet conclusively identified, significant attention has focused on the safety-related policies and practices-often referred to as the safety culture-of BP and other firms involved in drilling the well. This Article defines and characterizes the economic and policy forces that affect safety culture and identifies reasons why those forces may or may not be adequate or effective from the public's perspective. Two potential justifications for policy intervention are that: (1) not all of the social costs of a spill may be internalized by a firm; and (2) there may be ...


Coastal Wetland Restoration And The "Deepwater Horizon" Oil Spill, Edward B. Barbier Nov 2011

Coastal Wetland Restoration And The "Deepwater Horizon" Oil Spill, Edward B. Barbier

Vanderbilt Law Review

Both the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2010 BP oil spill have focused attention on the need to restore coastal wetland habitats along the Gulf of Mexico of the United States. As restoration is required by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, restoring coastal wetlands will be required as part of BP's legal obligations. Although plans to restore the Mississippi River Delta are well on their way, the damages to the Gulf Coast wetlands caused by the Deepwater Horizon spill are still occurring and have yet to be fully assessed. At this critical time for wetland restoration ...


Deepwater Drilling: Law, Policy, And Economics Of Firm Organization And Safety, Mark A. Cohen Nov 2011

Deepwater Drilling: Law, Policy, And Economics Of Firm Organization And Safety, Mark A. Cohen

Vanderbilt Law Review

Nathan Richardson 64 Vand. L. Rev. 1853 (2011) Although the causes of the Deepwater Horizon spill are not yet conclusively identified, significant attention has focused on the safety-related policies and practices-often referred to as the safety culture-of BP and other firms involved in drilling the well. This Article defines and characterizes the economic and policy forces that affect safety culture and identifies reasons why those forces may or may not be adequate or effective from the public's perspective. Two potential justifications for policy intervention are that: (1) not all of the social costs of a spill may be internalized ...


Deterring And Compensating Oil-Spill Catastrophes: The Need For Strict And Two-Tier Liability, W. Kip Viscusi, Richard J. Zeckhauser Nov 2011

Deterring And Compensating Oil-Spill Catastrophes: The Need For Strict And Two-Tier Liability, W. Kip Viscusi, Richard J. Zeckhauser

Vanderbilt Law Review

The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill highlighted the glaring weaknesses in the current liability and regulatory regime for oil spills and for environmental catastrophes more broadly. This Article proposes a new liability structure for deep-sea oil drilling and for catastrophic risks generally. It delineates a two-tier system of liability. The first tier would impose strict liability up to the firm's financial resources, including insurance coverage. The second tier would be an annual tax equal to the expected costs in the coming year beyond this damages amount. Before beginning a risky operation, the proposed liability scheme would identify a single ...


Real-Time Economic Analysis And Policy Development During The Bp "Deepwater Horizon" Oil Spill, Joseph E. Aldy Nov 2011

Real-Time Economic Analysis And Policy Development During The Bp "Deepwater Horizon" Oil Spill, Joseph E. Aldy

Vanderbilt Law Review

The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill posed near-term economic risks to the Gulf of Mexico region and raised questions about appropriate policies to mitigate catastrophic oil-spill risks. This Essay reviews the Obama Administration's assessment of the economic vulnerabilities to the spill, the Administration's May 12, 2010, legislative proposal focused on minimizing the adverse economic impacts to workers and small businesses in the Gulf of Mexico, and the effort to secure an agreement with BP to ensure that those harmed by the spill will receive full compensation. Then, the Essay discusses several of the policy reforms advanced by ...


Survey Mode Effects On Valuation Of Environmental Goods, W. Kip Viscusi, Jason Bell, Joel Huber Jan 2011

Survey Mode Effects On Valuation Of Environmental Goods, W. Kip Viscusi, Jason Bell, Joel Huber

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article evaluates the effect of the choice of survey recruitment mode on the value of water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams. Four different modes are compared: bringing respondents to one central location after phone recruitment, mall intercepts in two states, national phone-mail survey, and an Internet survey with a national, probability-based sample. The modes differ in terms of the representativeness of the samples, non-response rates, sample selection effects, and consistency of responses. The article also shows that the estimated benefit value can differ substantially depending on the survey mode. The national Internet panel has the most desirable properties ...


Regulation In The Behavioral Era, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh, Amanda R. Carrico Jan 2011

Regulation In The Behavioral Era, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh, Amanda R. Carrico

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Administrative agencies have long proceeded on the assumption that individuals respond to regulations in ways that are consistent with traditional rational actor theory, but that is beginning to change. Agencies are now relying on behavioral economics to develop regulations that account for responses that depart from common sense and common wisdom, reflecting predictable cognitive anomalies. Furthermore, political officials have now called for behavioral economics to play an explicit role in White House review of agency regulations. This is a significant development for the regulatory process, yet our understanding of how behavioral insights should alter regulatory analysis is incomplete. To account ...


Gaming The Past: The Theory And Practice Of Historic Baselines In The Administrative State, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman Jan 2011

Gaming The Past: The Theory And Practice Of Historic Baselines In The Administrative State, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law Review

In 1988, candidate George H. W. Bush was in a tight race for the presidency, behind in the polls to the Democratic challenger, Michael Dukakis. Stung by the D+ grade given by the League of Conservation Voters, Bush was searching for a way to claw back some of the environmental vote.' He saw an opening in wetlands. Perceived as worthless swamps and wasted development opportunities for most of our nation's history, conversion of wetlands for agricultural and urban land uses has resulted in a staggering loss of resources. Beginning in the 1970s, however, views started to change, with growing ...


Macro-Risks: The Challenge For Rational Risk Regulation, Michael P. Vandenbergh, Jonathan A. Gilligan Jan 2011

Macro-Risks: The Challenge For Rational Risk Regulation, Michael P. Vandenbergh, Jonathan A. Gilligan

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Drawing on the recent financial crisis, we introduce the concept of macro-risk. We distinguish between micro-risks, which can be managed within conventional economic frameworks, and macro-risks, which threaten to disrupt economic systems so much that a different approach is required. We argue that catastrophic climate change is a prime example of a macro-risk. Research by climate scientists suggests disturbingly high likelihoods of temperature increases and sea level rises that could cause the kinds of systemic failures that almost occurred with the financial system. We suggest that macro-risks should be the principal concern of rational risk assessment and management, but they ...