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Retroactive Liability or the Public Purse?

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  • Boyd, James
  • Kunreuther, Howard

Abstract

The article addresses the question of whether responsibility for pollution created in the past should be retroactively applied to firms, or if the costs of cleaning up existing pollution should be financed by the public. We show that making firms liable for retrospective environmental costs can weaken the incentive to take precautions against future environmental costs. This follows since public financing of these costs can lead to greater prospective risk deterrence by allowing firms to more fully internalize the costs of future environmental risks. However, an analysis of existing public financing approaches highlights a set of dangers associated with their practical use. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Regulatory Economics.

Volume (Year): 11 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 79-90

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Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:11:y:1997:i:1:p:79-90

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100298

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Cited by:
  1. Shuichi Ohori, 2006. "Optimal Environmental Tax and Level of Privatization in an International Duopoly," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 225-233, 03.
  2. Haitao Yin & Howard Kunreuther & Matthew White, 2009. "Risk-Based Pricing and Risk-Reducing Effort: Does the Private Insurance Market Reduce Environmental Accidents?," NBER Working Papers 15100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Boyd, James, 1996. "Banking on "Green Money:" Are Environmental Financial Responsibility Rules Fulfilling Their Promise?," Discussion Papers dp-96-26, Resources For the Future.

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