Colombia's Discharge Fee Program: Incentives for Polluters or Regulators?
AbstractColombia’s discharge fee system for water effluents is often held up as a model of a well-functioning, economic-incentive pollution control program in a developing country. Yet few objective, up-to-date evaluations of the program have appeared. Based on a variety of primary and secondary evaluative data, this paper finds that that the program has been beset by a number of serious problems including limited implementation in many regions, widespread noncompliance by municipal sewage authorities, and a confused relationship between discharge fees and discharge standards. Nevertheless, in several watersheds, pollution loads dropped significantly after the program was introduced. While proponents claim the incentives that discharge fees created for polluters to cut emissions in a cost-effective manner were responsible for this success, this paper argues that the incentives they created for regulatory authorities to improve permitting, monitoring, and enforcement were at least as important.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-05-31.
Date of creation: 16 Jun 2005
Date of revision:
environment; economic incentive; market based instrument; discharge fees; water pollution; Latin America; Colombia;
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
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-01-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2006-01-24 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2006-01-24 (Environmental Economics)
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