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The Regulator and the Judge : The Optimal Mix in The Control of Environmental Risk

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  • Yolande Hiriart
  • David Martimort
  • Jérôme Pouyet

Abstract

A firm engaged in activities which are environmentally risky has private informationboth on her choice of safety care and on the level of her assets. Public authorities havea stake in implementing a high level of prevention effort and in unveiling the true levelof assets for liability payments. We characterize the optimal second-best public policytowards risk prevention in this asymmetric information setup. This policy takes theform of monitoring both on safety care and on wealth, with probabilities of investigation supplemented with fines. The monitoring takes place both ex ante and ex post, i.e.,before or after an accident has taken place. We show that some sort of separationbetween the regulatory tasks and the legal intervention is called for : at the ex antestage, more resources should be allocated to the monitoring on “technical” aspects ofthe underlying risk (i.e., the care exercised by the firm) than on “financial” aspects (i.e.,the firm’s collectable wealth) ; at the ex post stage, monitoring should only concernfinancial aspects.

Suggested Citation

  • Yolande Hiriart & David Martimort & Jérôme Pouyet, 2008. "The Regulator and the Judge : The Optimal Mix in The Control of Environmental Risk," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 118(6), pages 941-967.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_186_0941
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vera Angelova & Olivier Armantier & Giuseppe Attanasi & Yolande Hiriart, 2014. "Relative performance of liability rules: experimental evidence," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 531-556, December.
    2. Pierre Bentata, 2014. "Liability as a complement to environmental regulation: an empirical study of the French legal system," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 16(3), pages 201-228, July.
    3. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2016. "Controlling Product Risks when Consumers Are Heterogeneously Overconfident: Producer Liability versus Minimum-Quality-Standard Regulation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 274-304, June.
    4. Andrzej Baniak & Peter Grajzl, 2014. "Controlling Product Risks when Consumers are Heterogeneously Overconfident: Producer Liability vs. Minimum Quality Standard Regulation," CESifo Working Paper Series 5003, CESifo Group Munich.

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