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The Value of Information in Public Decisions

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  • Arvind Magesan
  • Matthew A. Turner

Abstract

This paper considers the problem of an imperfectly informed regulator constrained in his choice of environmental regulation by the political opposition of those affected by the policy. We compare the value of two types of information to the regulator: the social cost of pollution and the profi tability of firms present in the economy. We find that in environments where small increases in the losses to regulated firms greatly a ffect the regulator's ability to implement the policy, it is most valuable to learn the types of firms, while it is most valuable to learn the social cost of pollution when small increases in losses are relatively ine ffectual.

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File URL: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-345.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-345.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 03 Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-345

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Related research

Keywords: Environmental Policy; Pollution; Optimal Taxation;

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  1. Becker, Gary S., 1985. "Public policies, pressure groups, and dead weight costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 329-347, December.
  2. Tracy R. Lewis, 1996. "Protecting the Environment When Costs and Benefits Are Privately Known," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 819-847, Winter.
  3. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  4. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
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