"Are Pollution Controls Worth Their Costs?"
Ted Geyer and Kip Viscusi write--no surprise--that for many recent regulations the answer is "No".
Perhaps the main failure of rationality is that of the regulators rather than the consumers and firms. Agency officials who have been given a specific substantive mission have a tendency to focus on these concerns to the exclusion of all others. Thus, fuel efficiency and energy efficiency matter, but nothing else does. In effect, government officials are acting as if they are guided by a single mission myopia that leads to the exclusion of all concerns other than their agencies' mandates.