Externalities from Recycling Laws: Evidence from Crime Rates
AbstractThis paper tests whether laws that encourage bottle recycling and also increase the labor incomes of low-wage workers have the additional effect of reducing petty crime rates. A simple choice theory model of crime participation and labor supply suggests that low-wage workers may substitute time and effort away from illegal activity to legal and remunerative recycling activity. Between 1973 and 2001, eleven states and one city enacted bottle recycling laws, and this paper exploits the variation in the year of implementation of the bottle laws to measure and test for any reduction in crime rates. The results show that city-level petty crime rates in bottle law states are on average 11% lower than city-level petty crime rates in non--bottle law states. Although the primary positive benefits of recycling income go to low-income individuals, the unexpected secondary benefit of lower crime rates affects both high- and low-income individuals. (JEL Q50, K40) Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.
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 Oxford University Press in its journal American Law and Economics Review.
Volume (Year): 12 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://www.aler.oupjournals.org/
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
- K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Bevin Ashenmiller, 2011. "The Effect of Bottle Laws on Income: New Empirical Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 60-64, May.
- W. Kip Viscusi & Joel Huber & Jason Bell, 2011. "Promoting Recycling: Private Values, Social Norms, and Economic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 65-70, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.