We investigate why some laws and regulations are never amended, others last for years before their first change, while still more are amended or repealed almost immediately, and repeatedly, after entering into force. Using a previously untapped dataset of 75,000 environmental laws and regulations from nearly every country between 1970 and 2016, we explore the variation in the durability of environmental policies following their enactment. By considering a country’s economic, political, and subject-specific conditions, along with how they change over time, we find that policies tend to be changed more quickly in countries that are relatively wealthy, are non-democratic, and have independent and empowered judiciaries. However, we find no consistent, statistically significant relationship between the timing of an environmental policy’s amendment and a subject’s economic importance or environmental quality. We also observe that the timing of policy amendments is explained by policy changes in other countries, although whether one country’s actions hasten policy amendment in another appears to be conditional on the economic and colonial relationship between the two states.
About the presenter:
Charles R. Shipan is the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Michigan, where he holds appointments in the Department of Political Science and the Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to joining the faculty at Michigan, Shipan served on the faculty at the University of Iowa, and he has also held positions as a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, a visiting research fellow at Trinity College in Dublin, a visiting fellow at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics. He has written numerous articles and book chapters on political institutions and public policy. Shipan received a BA in chemistry from Carleton College and an MA and PhD in political science from Stanford University.