Environmental Regulation in the Presence of an Informal Sector
AbstractWe analyze the efficacy of environmental regulation in the presence of an endogenous informal sector. Firms in an imperfectly competitive formal sector produce a final good using a polluting intermediate good. The firms can either produce the intermediate good or purchase it from a price-taking informal sector. An environmental regulator sets the emission intensity of the intermediate good that all formal sector firms implement honestly but informal sector firms seek, and are sometimes able, to evade. We show that, depending on the stringency of the regulation and its enforcement, the informal sector can act as a source of pollution leakage. Stricter regulation can increase (when the “composition effect” of regulation dominates its “scale effect”) or decrease total pollution, and may even have a non-monotonic impact. Further, price discrimination by the formal sector, when it purchases the intermediate good from the informal sector, can worsen regulatory compliance by the informal sector and lead to lower welfare.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2010-03.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- 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
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2010-10-02 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-REG-2010-10-02 (Regulation)
- NEP-RES-2010-10-02 (Resource Economics)
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