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Water Pollution Taxes: A Good Idea Doomed to Failure?

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  • Boyd, James

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Water pollution taxes, or effluent fees, have long been advocated by environmental economists as a regulatory approach to cost effectively achieve water quality improvements. The article reviews the arguments in favor of taxes and traces the history of the idea in U.S. policy debates. Particular attention is given to the institutional challenges presented by a tax system and its application in watershed contexts where transport phenomena are important. The article also addresses the question of why effluent taxes are so rarely seen in practice.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-03-20.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-03-20

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Related research

Keywords: water quality; effluent fees; market-based incentives;

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References

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  1. Thomas Alban, 1995. "Regulating Pollution under Asymmetric Information: The Case of Industrial Wastewater Treatment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 357-373, May.
  2. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  3. Hans Th. A. Bressers, 1988. "A Comparison Of The Effectiveness Of Incentives And Directives: The Case Of Dutch Water Quality Policy," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 7(3), pages 500-518, 03.
  4. M. L. Weitzman, 1973. "Prices vs. Quantities," Working papers 106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
  6. JunJie Wu & Bruce A. Babcock, 1996. "Spatial Heterogeneity and the Choice of Instruments to Control Nonpoint Pollution," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 96-wp164, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  7. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1973. "Effluent Charges: A Critique," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 6(4), pages 512-28, November.
  8. Bohm, Peter & Russell, Clifford S., 1985. "Comparative analysis of alternative policy instruments," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, in: A. V. Kneeseā€  & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 395-460 Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. Lori Bennear & Robert Stavins, 2007. "Second-best theory and the use of multiple policy instruments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 111-129, May.
  2. Sheila M. Olmstead, 2010. "The Economics of Water Quality," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(1), pages 44-62, Winter.

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