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Siting public facilities: a theoretical and empirical analysis of the Nimby syndrome in Italy

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  • Roberta Occhilupo

    ()
    (Bank of Italy, Economics, research and international relations)

  • Giuliana Palumbo

    ()
    (Bank of Italy, Economics, research and international relations)

  • Paolo Sestito

    ()
    (Bank of Italy, Economics, research and international relations)

Abstract

The paper discusses the economic problem and the institutional features underlying the Nimby syndrome, and illustrates preliminary empirical evidence for Italy. It argues that siting procedures taking local preferences into account should be preferred when the heterogeneity in preferences across communities is greater than the heterogeneity in constructing and operating costs across sites. The elicitation of preferences is better pursued through auction-like mechanisms rather than multilateral negotiations if: the characteristics of the facility and the institutional context are such that credible information about the risks associated with the facility are available; conflicting preferences at the local level can be preliminarily aggregated; and compensations are mainly monetary. Empirical results suggest that the intensity of local opposition is greater when the perceived risk associated with the facility is higher and more concentrated, and the communication between different levels of government poor. The conflict between highly centralized siting procedures and highly decentralized administrative institutions, the difficulty of providing credible information about the risks associated with the facility, and low political commitment are identified as the critical points.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 91.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_91_11

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Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma
Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it
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Keywords: siting procedures; local preferences; constructing and operating costs; auction; negotiation;

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  1. Kunreuther, Howard & Kleindorfer, Paul R, 1986. "A Sealed-Bid Auction Mechanism for Siting Noxious Facilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 295-99, May.
  2. Myerson, Roger B. & Satterthwaite, Mark A., 1983. "Efficient mechanisms for bilateral trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 265-281, April.
  3. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2002. "Ambiguity Made Precise: A Comparative Foundation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 251-289, February.
  4. Jacob K. Goeree & Theo Offerman, 2003. "Competitive Bidding in Auctions with Private and Common Values," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 598-613, 07.
  5. Jérémy Laurent-Lucchetti & Justin Leroux, 2007. "Choosing and Sharing," Cahiers de recherche 07-13, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  6. O'Sullivan Arthur, 1993. "Voluntary Auctions for Noxious Facilities: Incentives to Participate and the Efficiency of Siting Decisions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages S12-S26, July.
  7. Minehart, Deborah & Neeman, Zvika, 2002. "Effective Siting of Waste Treatment Facilities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 303-324, March.
  8. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Modes of Communication," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1217-1238, December.
  9. David P�rez-Castrillo & David Wettstein, 2002. "Choosing Wisely: A Multibidding Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1577-1587, December.
  10. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
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