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The Economics of Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement

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  • Jay P. Shimshack

    () (Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904)

Abstract

Without monitoring and enforcement, environmental laws are largely nonbinding guidance. Although economists and philosophers have thought seriously about the broader public enforcement of law since at least the eighteenth century, environmental monitoring and enforcement remain both understudied and controversial. This article reviews what we do and do not know about the subject. I review common environmental enforcement institutions, prescriptive and descriptive theories, empirical evidence on regulator behavior, and empirical evidence on deterrence effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Jay P. Shimshack, 2014. "The Economics of Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 339-360, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:6:y:2014:p:339-360
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dur, Robert & Vollaard, Ben, 2019. "Salience of law enforcement: A field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 208-220.
    2. repec:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/700281 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:chieco:v:54:y:2019:i:c:p:457-472 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Vollaard, Ben, 2017. "Temporal displacement of environmental crime: Evidence from marine oil pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 168-180.
    5. repec:spr:envpol:v:21:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10018-018-0226-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Eric Brouillat & Maïder Saint-Jean, 2019. "Dura lex sed lex: why implementation gaps in environmental policy matter?," Cahiers du GREThA 2019-04, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    7. Jinghui Lim, 2016. "The impact of monitoring and enforcement on air pollutant emissions," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 203-222, April.
    8. Beatty, Timothy & Shimshack, Jay P., 2018. "Monitoring and Enforcement in a Food Safety Context," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 273913, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Peter Maniloff, 2016. "Bayesian Learning and Regulatory Deterrence: Evidence from Oil and Gas Production," Working Papers 2016-04, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
    10. Andarge, Tihitina & Lichtenberg, Erik, 2018. "Regulated Firm Strategy under Uncertainty about Regulatory Status," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274420, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Mary F. Evans, 2016. "The Clean Air Act Watch List: An Enforcement and Compliance Natural Experiment," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 627-665.
    12. Mary F. Evans & Scott M. Gilpatric & Jay P. Shimshack, 2018. "Enforcement Spillovers: Lessons from Strategic Interactions in Regulation and Product Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 739-769.
    13. Andarge, Tihitina, 2019. "The Effect of Incomplete Enforcement Information on Ambient Pollution Levels: Evidence from the Clean Water Act," 2019 Annual Meeting, July 21-23, Atlanta, Georgia 291281, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    14. Lucija Muehlenbachs & Stefan Staubli & Mark A. Cohen, 2016. "The Impact of Team Inspections on Enforcement and Deterrence," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 159-204.
    15. Grooms, Katherine K., 2015. "Enforcing the Clean Water Act: The effect of state-level corruption on compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 50-78.
    16. Alm, James & Shimshack, Jay, 2014. "Environmental Enforcement and Compliance: Lessons from Pollution, Safety, and Tax Settings," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 10(4), pages 209-274, December.
    17. repec:kap:regeco:v:52:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11149-017-9341-y is not listed on IDEAS
    18. repec:eee:wdevel:v:117:y:2019:i:c:p:313-327 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Dur, Robert & Vollaard, Ben, 2019. "Salience of law enforcement: A field experiment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 208-220.
    20. Zou, Eric, 2017. "Unwatched Pollution: The Effect of Incomplete Monitoring on Air Quality," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258274, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    21. repec:kap:regeco:v:51:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11149-016-9314-6 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inspections; sanctions; penalties; deterrence; pollution;

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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