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Environmental Accidents Under Moral Hazard and Limited Firm Liability

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Author Info

  • Strand, J.

Abstract

We study optimal government policy when firms' operations involve a risk of a large environmental accident, firms do not have sufficient assets to cover such costs, and the risk is affected by firms' efforts which are unobservable to outsiders. When firms' profits and government revenues have equal weights in the social welfare function, a first best can be implemented and requires that the firm be subsidized heavily when operating with no accident, and all its assets confiscated in the event of an accident. With a lower weight on firm profits the solution is always second best, with lower subsidies to the firm, and a firm effort lower than at the first-best solution. When firm investments affect both the required accident-preventing effort for given risk and the work effort required for a given output, the first best never involves specific investment subsidies, while a second-best solution generally always does. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 22/1992.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 1992
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:1992_022

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Email:
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Related research

Keywords: environment ; enterprises ; risk;

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References

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  1. T. Randolph Beard, 1990. "Bankruptcy and Care Choice," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(4), pages 626-634, Winter.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1983. "Incentive Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 912-27, December.
  3. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
  4. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Eirik Amundsen, 1992. "Optimal failure rates and penalty-bonus policies in the offshore petroleum sector," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(5), pages 469-489, September.
  6. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  8. Robert E. Kohn, 1985. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of the Optimal Number of Firms in a Polluting Industry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(2), pages 347-54, May.
  9. Gabel H. Landis & Sinclair-Desgagne Bernard, 1993. "Managerial Incentives and Environmental Compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 229-240, May.
  10. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1990. "Adverse Selection and Renegotiation in Procurement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 597-625, October.
  11. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  12. Hahn, Robert W, 1990. " The Political Economy of Environmental Regulation: Towards a Unifying Framework," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 21-47, April.
  13. Mayshar, Joram, 1977. "Should Government Subsidize Risky Private Projects?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 20-28, March.
  14. Spulber, Daniel F., 1985. "Effluent regulation and long-run optimality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 103-116, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jakob Eberl & Darko Jus, 2012. "Evaluating policies to attain the optimal exposure to nuclear risk," RSCAS Working Papers 2012/50, European University Institute.
  2. Katrin Millock & David Zilberman, 2006. "Collective penalities and inducement of self-reporting," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v06048a, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  3. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00118778 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Strand, Jon, 1999. "Efficient environmental taxation under moral hazard," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 73-88, March.
  5. Anthony Heyes, 1996. "Optimal taxation of flow pollutants when firms may also inflict catastrophic environmental damage," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(1), pages 1-14, January.
  6. Thomas Aronsson & Kenneth Backlund & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 1998. "Nuclear Power, Externalities and Non-Standard Pigouvian Taxes," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(2), pages 177-195, March.
  7. Grajzl, Peter & Baniak, Andrzej, 2009. "Industry self-regulation, subversion of public institutions, and social control of torts," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 360-374, December.
  8. van 't Veld, Klaas & Hutchinson, Emma, 2009. "Excessive spending by firms to avoid accidents: Is it a concern in practice?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 324-335, December.
  9. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1995. "Regulation, moral hazard and insurance of environmental risks," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 319-336, November.

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