Economist Jeffords Publishes Article in “Ecological Economics”

Posted on 4/29/21 11:45 AM

Available to download for free until June 18, 2021, Chris Jeffords' paper, titled "On the relationship between constitutional environmental human rights and sustainable development outcomes," was recently published in Ecological Economics.

Jeffords uses two different econometric frameworks to provide quantitative evidence of a positive relationship between national constitutional environmental rights (CER) provisions and sustainable development outcomes as measured by the newly developed Sustainable Development Index(SDI).

Of particular importance, and a new contribution to this field in general, is the application of an heterogeneous treatment effects (HTE) model which exploits the variation in country-level characteristics related to having or not a CER provision to provide an answer to the following question: what is the impact on sustainable development outcomes from adding a CER provision? The results demonstrate that constitutionalizing an environmental human rights provision at the national level is correlated with a positive and persistent impact on SDI and over a range of propensity scores. That is, as the probability of adding a CER provision grows, there is a positive and generally constant impact on SDI.

As countries of the world grapple with the impacts of climate change and strive to meet or exceed sustainable development goals, Jeffords' research demonstrates that constitutionalizing environmental rights is an important step in this direction (but not the only step). His paper also outlines some of the avenues through which CER provisions impact environmental outcomes on a micro level. In the discussion of the findings, Jeffords is careful not to draw a causal relationship between CER provisions and SDI, as it could be the case that a country which is more likely to take steps to improve its environmental quality is also more likely to constitutionalize environmental human rights.

Published by Elsevier, Ecological Economicshas a Scopus CiteScore of 6.9 (2019), a Clarivate impact factor of 4.482 (2019), impact fact of 6.9, has an A rating in the Australian Business Deans Council Journal Quality List, has an H-index of 189 (Scimago), is a Q1 journal in two different categories in the Scimago Journal Rankings, and is ranked 60th out of 2823 ranked economics (and related) journals through Ideas/RePEc. In short, this is a top economics journal and a top field journal in many interdisciplinary circles, including environmental science and environmental studies.

Department of Economics