Jay Shimshack's research is guided by three questions: 

  • Which programs, policies, and regulations achieve their stated objectives?

  • Which programs, policies, and regulations are socially efficient?

  • What economic incentives drive responses to programs, policies, and regulations?

In other words, Shimshack explores: What policies work? What policies are socially efficient? Why do successful policies work and why do unsuccessful policies fail? 

Specific research interests include the law and economics of environmental regulation; the choice of environmental policy instruments; the economics of corporate social responsibility; and the benefits and costs of environmental and health policies. Professor Shimshack has made research contributions to our understanding of environmental monitoring and enforcement, the economics of food safety, information and transparency as policy, corporate environmental behavior, and other policy-relevant topics. Research hallmarks include unique datasets and plausible causal inference with observational data.

Published Papers:

Working Papers:

  • “Costly sanctions and the treatment of frequent violators in regulatory settings,” w/ M. Ward.

  • "Cancer and industrial facilities in China," w/ X. Zhang and H. Yin.

  • "Quantitatively measuring deterrence: empirical tools for assessing the impact of environmental
    monitoring and enforcement actions." Forthcoming.

  • "Monitoring, enforcement, and the choice of environmental policy instruments," w/ M. Cohen. Forthcoming.