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The Effects of Regulated Facilities' Perceptions About the Effectiveness of Government Interventions on Environmental Compliance

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  • Earnhart, Dietrich
  • Friesen, Lana

Abstract

Our study explores the effects of regulatory monitoring and enforcement activities on facilities' compliance with environmental regulatory laws. In particular, our study examines regulated facilities' perceptions of the effectiveness of monitoring and enforcement efforts for inducing compliance and the influence of these perceptions on facilities' responses to actual inspections and enforcement actions. No previous study explores this influence. For our conceptual analysis, we extend standard deterrence theory by incorporating the behavioral dimension of intrinsic motivation. For our empirical analysis, we examine chemical manufacturing facilities permitted under the Clean Water Act during the years 2002 to 2004. Using an original survey, we collect data on facilities' perceptions. We then compare responses to government interventions between facilities that perceive enforcement as effective and those that do not. For facilities perceiving enforcement as effective, increased deterrence of any type generates little gain. In contrast, for those facilities who perceive enforcement as ineffective, increased deterrence from inspections improves compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Suggested Citation

  • Earnhart, Dietrich & Friesen, Lana, 2017. "The Effects of Regulated Facilities' Perceptions About the Effectiveness of Government Interventions on Environmental Compliance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 282-294.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:282-294
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.06.014
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    1. Sun, Meng, 2019. "The effect of border controls on waste imports: Evidence from China's Green Fence campaign," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 457-472.
    2. Guoyou Qi & Hailiang Zou & Xuemei Xie, 2020. "Governmental inspection and green innovation: Examining the role of environmental capability and institutional development," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(4), pages 1774-1785, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Dietrich Earnhart & Lana Friesen, 2021. "Enforcement Federalism: Comparing the Effectiveness of Federal Punishment versus State Punishment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 78(2), pages 227-255, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental enforcement; Compliance; Perceptions; Wastewater;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety 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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