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Environmental Economics Breakdown

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

In today’s episode of The Policy Paycheck, host Serena Allen discusses the environmental budget of the U.S. and the controversies of government funded environmental initiatives with expert Dr. Monalisa Chatterjee.

What threats to environmental infrastructure does America currently face? What is the EPA and what do they do? How is U.S. environmental policy affected by the tragedy of the commons?


Monalisa Chatterjee is a social scientist with expertise in adaptation and environmental policy. Currently she is an assistant professor (teaching) in the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California. Prior to this appointment, she worked as the adaptation lead in the science team of the Technical Support Unit with the Working Group II Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. She has also worked as an environmental policy analyst with the United Nations Development Program, New York. Her current research interests are in examining the impact of climate and societal change on the distribution of risks, vulnerability, and resilience; integrating methods using multidisciplinary approaches; and qualitative and quantitative consolidation of findings on adaptation to develop integrated policy frameworks of vulnerability reduction and sustainable adaptation. Dr. Chatterjee holds a doctorate in geography from Rutgers University.

Some of things we talked about ...

How economists see the environment

Economists and ecologists misunderstand each other about the environment. Improving interdisciplinary communication should enable natural scientists to take economic analysis and prescriptions more seriously.

Fullerton, D., Stavins, R. How economists see the environment. Nature 395, 433–434 (1998).

Please note that library access may be necessary to read this article.

This Is How the EPA Uses Its Budget—Now Targeted for Deep Cuts

The White House's newly proposed federal budget would cut the EPA's funding by a third, targeting regional and climate change-oriented initiatives.

National Geographic

Government expenditure on environmental protection

General government expenditure in the EU on environmental protection amounted to 0.8 % of GDP in 2018.

eurostat: statistics explained

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The Policy Paycheck logo is designed by USC student Jordan Williams.

Produced by Serena Allen & Aubrey Hicks. Sound editing by the Brothers Hedden.

Bedrosian Center