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The benefits and costs of informal sector pollution control: Mexican brick kilns

  • BLACKMAN, ALLEN
  • SHIH, JHIH-SHYANG
  • EVANS, DAVID
  • BATZ, MICHAEL
  • NEWBOLD, STEPHEN
  • COOK, JOSEPH

In developing countries, the rapid proliferation of informal firms low-technology unlicensed micro-enterprises is having significant environmental impacts. Yet environmental management authorities typically ignore such firms. This paper estimates the annual net benefits (benefits minus costs) of controlling particulate emissions from a collection of informal brick kilns in Ciudad Ju rez, Mexico and from two of the city s leading formal industrial polluters. We find that the annual net benefits of controlling brick kiln emissions are substantial in the tens of millions of dollars and exceed those for the two formal industrial facilities by a significant margin. These results suggest that, in some cases, the conventional allocation of pollution control resources across formal and informal polluters may be suboptimal.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2006)
Issue (Month): 05 (October)
Pages: 603-627

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Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:11:y:2006:i:05:p:603-627_00
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  1. Blackman, Allen & Bannister, Geoffrey, 1998. "Pollution Control in the Informal Sector: The Ciudad Juárez Brickmakers' Project," Discussion Papers dp-98-15, Resources For the Future.
  2. Dasgupta, Nandini, 2000. "Environmental Enforcement and Small Industries in India: Reworking the Problem in the Poverty Context," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 945-967, May.
  3. Blackman, Allen, 1999. "Informal Sector Pollution Control: What Policy Options Do We Have?," Discussion Papers dp-00-02-rev, Resources For the Future.
  4. Lauraine G. Chestnut & Bart D. Ostro & Nuntavarn Vichit-Vadakan, 1997. "Transferability of Air Pollution Control Health Benefits Estimates from the United States to Developing Countries: Evidence from the Bangkok Study," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1630-1635.
  5. Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen & Fu, Tsu-Tan & Krupnick, Alan & Liu, Jin-Tan & Shaw, Daigee & Harrington, Winston, 1997. "Valuing Health Effects of Air Pollution in Developing Countries: The Case of Taiwan," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 107-126, October.
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