This study, first published in 1990, explores the ways in which institutions can succeed or fail at environmental improvement. The author first takes a look at the nature of environmental politics and the history of air pollution control in Southern California. He then develops a political economic model that asks the question: what effect have the dramatic changes that have occurred throughout the history of air pollution control in Southern California had on air quality? Jeffry Fawcett uses the information gathered to both evaluate the relationship between air quality and institutional change; and to evaluate how political economists explain how state environmental institutions work. This title will be of interest to students of environmental economics and policy.