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Pollution control in an uncertain environment

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  • Tsur, Yacov
  • Zemel, Amos

Abstract

The effects of the threat of occurrence of environmental catastrophes on optimal pollution control is considered. Recent analysis of irreversible events is extended to two types of reversible events: single-occurrence and multiple-occurrence (recurrent) events. While it is possible that the threat of irreversible events induces more pollution, we show that reversible events, under quite general conditions, induce more conservation (less pollution). The analysis is carried out via a simple method (the "ho-method") to identify optimal steady states by comparing steady state policies with small variations from them. For recurrent events the optimal state process must approach a unique steady state from any initial level. In this case, the ho-method characterizes the dynamic behavior of the optimal state process without actually solving for it.
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  • Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 1998. "Pollution control in an uncertain environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 967-975, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:22:y:1998:i:6:p:967-975
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    1. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 1994. "Endangered Species and Natural Resource Exploitation: Extinction vs. Coexistence," Bulletins 7498, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
    2. Ziv Bar-Shira, 1992. "Nonparametric Test of the Expected Utility Hypothesis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(3), pages 523-533.
    3. Tsur Yacov & Zemel Amos, 1995. "Uncertainty and Irreversibility in Groundwater Resource Management," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 149-161, September.
    4. Vernon L. Smith, 1972. "Dynamics of Waste Accumulation: Disposal versus Recycling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(4), pages 600-616.
    5. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 1998. "Pollution control in an uncertain environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 967-975, June.
    6. Tsur, Yacov & Zemel, Amos, 1996. "Accounting for global warming risks: Resource management under event uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 20(6-7), pages 1289-1305.
    7. Keeler, Emmett & Spence, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1972. "The optimal control of pollution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 19-34, February.
    8. Forster, Bruce A., 1975. "Optimal pollution control with a nonconstant exponential rate of decay," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, September.
    9. C. G. Plourde, 1972. "A Model of Waste Accumulation and Disposal," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 5(1), pages 119-125, February.
    10. Clarke, Harry R. & Reed, William J., 1994. "Consumption/pollution tradeoffs in an environment vulnerable to pollution-related catastrophic collapse," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 991-1010, September.
    11. Cropper, M. L., 1976. "Regulating activities with catastrophic environmental effects," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-15, June.
    12. Plourde, Charles & Yeung, David, 1989. "A model of industrial pollution in a stochastic environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 97-105, March.
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