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Tailored Regulation: Will Voluntary Site-Specific Performance Standards Necessarily Improve Welfare?

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  • Blackman, Allen

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Boyd, James

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Increasingly popular tailored regulation (TR) initiatives like EPA’s Project XL allow plants to voluntarily substitute site-specific environmental performance standards for command-and-control regulations that dictate pollution abatement strategies. TR can significantly reduce participants’ costs of complying with environmental regulations. But in doing so, it can also provide participants with a competitive advantage. We show that this can have undesirable welfare consequences when it enables relatively inefficient firms in oligopolistic markets to "steal" market share from more efficient firms. One critical determinant of whether or not TR has such adverse welfare impacts is the regulator’s policy regarding the diffusion of TR agreements among non-participating firms.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-00-03-rev.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 1999
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-00-03-rev

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  1. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1988. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0tp305nx, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Tran Huu Dung, 1993. "Optimal Taxation and Heterogeneous Oligopoly," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(4), pages 933-47, November.
  3. Michael L. Katz & Harvey S. Rosen, 1983. "Tax Analysis in an Oligopoly Model," NBER Working Papers 1088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Arora Seema & Cason Timothy N., 1995. "An Experiment in Voluntary Environmental Regulation: Participation in EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 271-286, May.
  5. Stern, Nicholas, 1987. "The effects of taxation, price control and government contracts in oligopoly and monopolistic competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 133-158, March.
  6. Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
  7. Lahiri, Sajal & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 1988. "Helping Minor Firms Reduces Welfare," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1199-1202, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcus Alexander & Matthew C. Harding, 2003. "Self-regulation and the Certification of the European Information Economy The Case of e-Healthcare Information Provision," Economics Series Working Papers 154, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Keith Brouhle & Charles Griffiths & Ann Wolverton, 2007. "Evaluating the Effectiveness of EPA Voluntary Programs: An Examination of the Strategic Goals Program for Metal Finishers," NCEE Working Paper Series 200706, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised May 2007.
  3. R. Brau & C. Carraro, 2004. "The economic analysis of voluntary approaches to environmental protection. A survey," Working Paper CRENoS 200420, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  4. Brouhle, Keith & Griffiths, Charles & Wolverton, Ann, 2009. "Evaluating the role of EPA policy levers: An examination of a voluntary program and regulatory threat in the metal-finishing industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 166-181, March.

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