The Problem of Shared Social Cost
AbstractThis paper presents a mechanism for regulating pollution when industry harm--but not individual firms' contributions--is observable. The mechanism is based on a modification of Cooter and Porat's Total Liability for Excessive Harm (TLEH). We propose an alternative mechanism of Shared Social Costs (SSC), where firms share the total cost of industry harm and abatement costs. In cases where the abatement costs for each firm are verifiable, SSC may provide an efficient alternative to TLEH. The mechanisms are largely equivalent, but require different types of information for the regulator. For a legal target to be set in TLEH, it requires either knowing the cost functions of individual firms or accommodating error costs by gradually reducing the legal target until the efficient level is found. On the other hand, SSC requires observing individual firms' actual abatement expenditures as opposed to knowing their cost functions. Both rules provide efficient incentives for abatement, and require being able to observe and monetize industry level harm. We show that SSC leads to efficient incentives for entry and exit, has appealing incentives for innovation, and can be applied advantageously to remediation. In markets with heterogeneous firms, we propose weighting cost-sharing by firms' market shares.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by De Gruyter in its journal Review of Law & Economics.
Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.degruyter.com
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.