Muddling Through while Environmental Regulatory Capacity Evolves: What Role for Voluntary Agreements?
AbstractThe city of León, Guanajuato, is Mexico’s leather goods capital and a notorious environmental hotspot. Over the past two decades, four high-profile voluntary agreements aimed at controlling pollution from León’s tanneries have yielded few concrete results. To understand why, this paper reconstructs the history of these initiatives, along with that of local environmental regulatory capacity. Juxtaposing these two timelines suggests that the voluntary pollution control agreements were both motivated by—and undermined by—gaps in the legal, institutional, physical, and civic infrastructures needed to make regulation effective. Our analysis offers a concrete definition of environmental regulatory capacity, provides insights into how it evolves, and demonstrates its importance. Moreover, it sheds light on the question of whether voluntary environmental agreements—an increasingly popular regulatory tool—are likely to be effective in developing countries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-05-16.
Date of creation: 20 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
environment; voluntary agreement; regulatory capacity; Latin America; Mexico;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
- Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- O54 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
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