Christopher Jeffords, Department of Economics, presented a working paper entitled “Do Constitutions
Matter? The Effects of Environmental Rights Provisions on Environmental
Outcomes” (coauthored with Lanse Minkler, University of Connecticut)
within a Law and Social Economics panel on January 5, 2014, at the American
Economic Association annual meeting.
The panel was sponsored by the
Association for Social Economics through which (in 2010) Jeffords won the
William R. Waters Research Grant for his dissertation research on environmental
economics and environmental human rights.
Controlling for various social, economic, institutional, geographic,
and temporal factors, Professors Jeffords and Minkler find that having a
(national) constitutional environmental rights provision is positively related
to environmental outcomes as measured by Yale’s Environmental Performance
Index. They also find that the language of the constitutional provisions is
important where stronger language (in a legal sense) is positively related to
The process of collecting and coding the constitutional
provisions data was conducted by Jeffords and published as a book chapter
entitled “Constitutional Environmental Human Rights: A Descriptive Analysis of
142 National Constitutions,” in Lanse Minkler (ed.), The State of Economic and Social Human Rights: A Global Overview,
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2013).
Department of Economics