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Regulation Failure and CO2-emissions: An Experimental Investigation of the Cape Town Taxi Market

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  • Bengtsson, Niklas

    ()
    (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

Abstract

Economists often point out that regulations meant to correct market failure sometimes do more harm than good, in particular in developing countries. In this paper, I set up a field experiment to test this proposition in the Cape Town market for metered taxis. I find that if strictly enforced, the local meter regulations provide taxi drivers with an incentives to take detours in order to inflate mileage. Strict compliance to the regulations decreases the trade surplus by 10 percent and increases carbon dioxide emissions by 8 percent. Both private and environmental costs are reduced if the regulations are sidestepped and replaced by informal bargaining. I show theoretically that these results are consistent with a model where the regulations frame the informal bargaining process through the outside option. The combined results show that regulations can have unintended consequences that go well beyond local markets, but that deregulation does not necessarily achieve the first-best.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies with number 2011:13.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 05 Dec 2011
Date of revision: 12 Aug 2013
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uulswp:2011_013

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Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Email:
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Related research

Keywords: Informal sector; Market regulations; Taxi Experiment; Incomplete Contracts; Transac- tion Costs; Institutions; Natural Field Experiment; Environmental Economics;

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  1. Ellingsen, T. & Rosen, A., 1997. "Fixed or Flexible? Wage Setting in Search Equilibrium," Papers 1997-17, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
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  3. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2011. "Field Experiments with Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8412, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Grether, David M & Schwartz, Alan & Wilde, Louis L, 1988. "Uncertainty and Shopping Behaviour: An Experimental Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 323-42, April.
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  9. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877.
  10. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1991. "Incomplete Contracts, Specific Investments, and Risk Sharing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 1031-42, October.
  11. Georg Noldeke & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1995. "Option Contracts and Renegotiation: A Solution to the Hold-Up Problem," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(2), pages 163-179, Summer.
  12. Robert E. Hall & Alan B. Krueger, 2010. "Evidence on the Determinants of the Choice between Wage Posting and Wage Bargaining," NBER Working Papers 16033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Huberman, Gur & Kahn, Charles M., 1988. "Strategic renegotiation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 117-121.
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