Existing Chemicals Regulation Under the Toxic Substances Control Act

Models and Methods for Policy Evaluation

by Adele Palmer, Daniel F. Kohler

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Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is mandated to control human and environmental hazards caused by existing as well as new chemicals. For each chemical, testing or regulatory options must be identified and their benefits and costs evaluated. A major evaluation component is economic welfare analysis, which examines the incidence of regulatory costs to determine how much will be incurred by industry and how much will be shifted to consumers, and assesses potential regulatory effects on the overall efficiency with which the economy uses available resources to meet society's goals. This Note provides a basic reference source for welfare analytic concepts and methods that pertain to circumstances commonly encountered in TSCA policy evaluation. It reviews the main concepts of welfare theory, and extends the theory to cases in which regulating one chemical affects the demand for related products on the one hand, and on the other hand, to cases in which regulating a chemical affects markets for the inputs used to produce it or the products made. Finally, it deals with techniques for quantifying welfare measures.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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