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Ambient-based pollution mechanisms: A comparison of homogeneous and heterogeneous groups of emitters

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  • Suter, Jordan F.
  • Vossler, Christian A.
  • Poe, Gregory L.

Abstract

Over the last two decades, ambient-based tax mechanisms have been offered as a potential solution to the problem of nonpoint source water pollution. Previous theoretical analyses suggest that the performance of ambient-based tax mechanisms does not depend on firm characteristics, such as size, whilst policy discussions advocate that such mechanisms are best suited for regulating relatively homogeneous firms. Using controlled laboratory experiments, we provide empirical evidence that the distribution of firm sizes does have a significant impact on observed group decision making and further that heterogeneity has the potential to generate both some relatively desirable outcomes as well as some outcomes that are not attractive. These results suggest that richer theoretical models that capture important strategic interactions and social preferences are needed to better describe laboratory behavior and, by extension, behavior in potential policy settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Suter, Jordan F. & Vossler, Christian A. & Poe, Gregory L., 2009. "Ambient-based pollution mechanisms: A comparison of homogeneous and heterogeneous groups of emitters," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1883-1892, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:6:p:1883-1892
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    Cited by:

    1. Jordan F. Suter & Kathleen Segerson & Christian A. Vossler & Gregory L. Poe, 2010. "Voluntary-Threat Approaches to Reduce Ambient Water Pollution," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1195-1213.
    2. Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2011. "The Economics of Non-Point-Source Pollution," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 355-373, October.
    3. François Cochard & Anne Rozan, 2010. "Taxe ambiante : un outil adapté à la lutte contre les coulées de boue ? Une étude expérimentale," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 91(3), pages 296-326.
    4. Hamet SARR & Mohamed Ali BCHIR & François COCHARD & Anne ROZAN, 2016. "Nonpoint source pollution: An experimental investigation of the Average Pigouvian Tax," Working Papers 2016-05, CRESE.
    5. François Cochard & Julie Le Gallo & Laurent Franckx, 2015. "Regulation Of Pollution In The Laboratory: Random Inspections, Ambient Inspections, And Commitment Problems," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(S1), pages 40-73, December.
    6. Hamet Sarr & Mohamed Bchir & Francois Cochard & Anne Rozan, 2016. "Nonpoint source pollution: An experimental investigation of the Average Pigouvian Tax," Working Papers hal-01375078, HAL.
    7. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2013. "Empowering neighbors versus imposing regulations: An experimental analysis of pollution reduction schemes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 469-484.
    8. James Shortle & Richard D. Horan, 2013. "Policy Instruments for Water Quality Protection," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 111-138, June.

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