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Estimating Transaction Costs Of Alternative Policies To Reduce Phosphorous Pollution In The Minnesota River

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  • McCann, Laura M.J.
  • Easter, K. William

Abstract

As point sources of pollution reduce their emissions due to water quality control efforts, nonpoint sources have become relatively more important. In the case of agricultural nonpoint source pollution, the policy instruments recommended by economists are not observed in practice. This study was designed to measure the magnitude of transaction costs associated with policies to reduce agricultural nonpoint source pollution and to determine whether transaction costs help explain the prevalence of the policies actually observed. Interviews with staff from governmental agencies were conducted to estimate transaction costs associated with four policies to reduce agricultural phosphorous pollution in the Minnesota River. The tax on phosphate fertilizers had the lowest transaction costs (U.S. $0.94 million), followed by educational programs on best management practices ($3.11 million), the requirement for conservation tillage on all cropped land ($7.85 million), and expansion of a permanent conservation easement program ($9.37 million). Taxes thus may have advantages with respect to transaction costs as well as abatement costs.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/13919
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 13919.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umaesp:13919

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Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy;

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  1. Hearne, R.R. & Easter, K.W., 1995. "Water Allocation and Water Markets. An Analysis of Gains-from-Trade in Chile," Papers, World Bank - Technical Papers 315, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  2. Smith, Rodney B.W. & Tomasi, Theodore D., 1995. "Transaction Costs And Agricultural Nonpoint-Source Water Pollution Control Policies," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 20(02), December.
  3. Dahlman, Carl J, 1979. "The Problem of Externality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 141-62, April.
  4. Howitt, Richard E., 1994. "Empirical analysis of water market institutions: The 1991 California water market," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 357-371, November.
  5. John Conlisk, 1996. "Why Bounded Rationality?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 669-700, June.
  6. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
  7. Vatn Arild & Bromley Daniel W., 1994. "Choices without Prices without Apologies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 129-148, March.
  8. Easter, K. William, 1991. "Differences In The Transaction Costs Of Strategies To Control Agricultural Chemical Offsite And Undersite Damages," Staff Papers, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics 13421, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
  9. Friedman, David A. & Waldfogel, Joel, 1995. "The Administrative and Compliance Cost of Manual Highway Toll Collection: Evidence From Massachusetts and New Jersey," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 48(2), pages 217-28, June.
  10. Boggess, William G., 1995. "The Poverty Of Applied Policy Analysis," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 27(01), July.
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