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Instrument Mixes for Environmental Policy: How Many Stones Should be Used to Kill a Bird?


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  • Braathen, Nils Axel
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    How many instruments should be used to address a particular environmental problem? That is the question this article addresses. According to the "Tinbergen rule," one instrument per target is needed. The existence of any non-environmental market failures affecting the environmental problem at hand will also require one additional instrument per market failure. However, detailed case studies reveal that it is no simple task to count neither the number of relevant targets, nor the number of instruments applied. While there are good reasons to apply several instruments in combination to address a given environmental problem (non-environmental market failures, "multi-aspect" character of many problems, cases where one instrument underpin the use of other instruments, the need to address non-environmental policy concerns, etc.), it is sometimes difficult to see that such arguments have been the main explanations for the instrument mixes in practical use. There are also cases where the environmental effectiveness or economic efficiency of an instrument mix is hampered by lacking instruments.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by now publishers in its journal International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 185-235

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    Handle: RePEc:now:jirere:101.00000005

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    Keywords: Instrument mixes; Environmental policy; Ex post evaluations; Environmental effectiveness; Economic efficiency; Non-point sources of water pollution; Household waste; Energy efficiency;

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    Cited by:
    1. Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Meunier, Guy & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2012. "How inertia and limited potentials affect the timing of sectoral abatements in optimal climate policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6154, The World Bank.
    2. Fischer, Carolyn & Preonas, Louis, 2010. "Combining Policies for Renewable Energy: Is the Whole Less than the Sum of Its Parts?," Discussion Papers dp-10-19, Resources For the Future.
    3. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00626261 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Lecuyer, Oskar & Quirion, Philippe, 2013. "Can uncertainty justify overlapping policy instruments to mitigate emissions?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 177-191.
    5. Zylicz, Tomasz, 2010. "Goals and Principles of Environmental Policy," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 299-334, May.
    6. repec:hal:ciredw:hal-00626261 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Hallegatte, Stéphane, 2014. "Marginal abatement cost curves and the optimal timing of mitigation measures," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 645-653.
    8. Rogge, Karoline S. & Reichardt, Kristin, 2013. "Towards a more comprehensive policy mix conceptualization for environmental technological change: A literature synthesis," Working Papers "Sustainability and Innovation" S3/2013, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
    9. repec:hal:ciredw:hal-00866440 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Hallegatte, Stephane, 2011. "When starting with the most expensive option makes sense : use and misuse of marginal abatement cost curves," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5803, The World Bank.
    11. repec:hal:ciredw:hal-00916328 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00866440 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00916328 is not listed on IDEAS


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