Environmental Regulation

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Environmental laws reflect the relationship between law and society and its implications for public health and economy. This article aims to make the central themes and findings from the empirical study of environmental law accessible to legal scholars and social scientists across all fields. It begins with an overview of the making and design of environmental law, thereafter discussing environmental law enforcement, which can be framed as a choice between cooperation and legalism. Environmental law responds to individual and organizational behavior that results in harm to other people or the environment. Empirical research examines the causal connection between environmental law and changes in environmental outcomes and economic costs. The full impact of environmental law encompasses its effect on the environment as well as that on the economy. To advance the understanding of law in society, empirical analysts in the future should strive to piece together the various stages of environmental law.


Environmental law and policy, law and society, cooperation, legalism, environmental outcomes, public health and economy

Publication Title

The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Legal Research