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On the Second-best Policy of Household's Waste Recycling

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  • Takayoshi Shinkuma

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    Abstract

    This study analyzes the second-best household's waste recycling policy. If we assume the first-best economy with no illegal disposal or transaction costs, then unit pricing, an advance disposal fee and a recycling subsidy are required in order to achieve the social optimum such that both the sum of unit pricing and an advance disposal fee and the sum of unit pricing and a recycling subsidy are equal to the marginal disposal cost. Furthermore, the first-best outcome can also be obtained by a producer take-back requirement system. In the real economy, however, various factors prevent the first-best optimal outcome. In this study we consider two factors, one being the transaction cost associated with a recycling subsidy (or refund) and the other being illegal disposal by the consumer. If a recycling subsidy (or a deposit-refund system) is adopted, a transaction cost associated with it will be generated. Alternatively, if unit pricing is adopted, some of the consumed goods may be disposed of illegally. We show the complete trade-off between unit pricing and a recycling subsidy. In other words, we can not adopt unit pricing and a recycling subsidy simultaneously. As a result, there are three candidates for the second-best policy: unit pricing with an advance disposal fee, a deposit-refund system, and a producer take-back requirement system. Which of these three policies is the second-best policy will depend on the relative magnitude of the price of a recycled good and the marginal transaction cost associated with a recycling subsidy (or the refund in a deposit-refund system). Generally, if the price of a recycled good is positive and the marginal transaction cost is relatively high, unit pricing with an advance disposal fee is the second-best policy. However, where the price of a recycled good is negative and the marginal transaction cost is relatively high, a producer take-back requirement system is the second-best policy. Further, where the marginal transaction cost is relatively low, a deposit-refund system is the second-best policy, regardless of whether the price of a recycled good is positive or negative. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1022842617469
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 77-95

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:24:y:2003:i:1:p:77-95

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

    Related research

    Keywords: illegal disposal; recycling; second-best policy; transaction costs;

    References

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    1. Fullerton, Don & Kinnaman, Thomas C, 1996. "Household Responses to Pricing Garbage by the Bag," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 971-84, September.
    2. Don Fullerton & Wenbo Wu, 1996. "Policies for Green Design," NBER Working Papers 5594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Palmer, Karen & Sigman, Hilary & Walls, Margaret, 1997. "The Cost of Reducing Municipal Solid Waste," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 128-150, June.
    4. Chongwoo Choe & Iain Fraser, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of Household Waste Management," Working Papers 1997.11, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    5. Don Fullerton & Thomas C. Kinnaman, 1996. "Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping," NBER Working Papers 4374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Palmer, Karen & Walls, Margaret, 1997. "Optimal policies for solid waste disposal Taxes, subsidies, and standards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 193-205, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Alessio D’Amato & Shunsuke Managi & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2012. "Economics of waste management and disposal: decoupling, policy enforcement and spatial factors," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 14(4), pages 323-325, October.
    2. Rob F.T. Aalbers & Herman R.J. Vollebergh, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of Mixing Wastes," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-094/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Norimichi Matsueda & Yoko Nagase, 2008. "Economic Instruments and Resource Use in a Recyclable Product Market," Discussion Paper Series 41, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Oct 2008.
    4. Shinkuma, Takayoshi, 2007. "Reconsideration of an advance disposal fee policy for end-of-life durable goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 110-121, January.
    5. Francisco J. André & Emilio Cerdá, 2005. "Gestión de residuos sólidos urbanos: Análisis económico y políticas públicas," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2005/23, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    6. Rob F.T. Aalbers & Herman R.J. Vollebergh, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of Mixing Wastes," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-094/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Fleckinger, Pierre & Glachant, Matthieu, 2010. "The organization of extended producer responsibility in waste policy with product differentiation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 57-66, January.
    8. Ulli-Beer, Silvia & Andersen, David F. & Richardson, George P., 2007. "Financing a competitive recycling initiative in Switzerland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 727-739, May.
    9. Honma, Satoshi, 2013. "Optimal policies for international recycling between developed and developing countries," MPRA Paper 43703, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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