IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ecolec/v88y2013icp253-262.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Transaction costs and environmental policy design

Author

Listed:
  • McCann, Laura

Abstract

This article synthesizes the growing empirical literature on transaction costs to identify pragmatic design recommendations for environmental and natural resource policies. The New Institutional Economics literature recognizes that appropriate policy choice and design will be a function of the specific characteristics of the problem. The physical and institutional determinants of both transaction costs and abatement costs should be considered in the policy design process due to potential interactions between them. Analysts also need to incorporate the extent to which the technologies, institutional environment, governance structures, or policy designs can be changed; some factors can only be adjusted to or “designed around” while others can be designed differently. This framework highlights the importance of property rights since transaction costs will be incurred to obtain or retain property rights and since the rights assignment may affect both the magnitudes and distribution of costs. Another implication is that education and extension programs or use of behavioral economics concepts to affect choices can be cost-effective in some circumstances. Policy design should take advantage of economies of scale and foster technical change. Appropriate sequencing of policy instruments may decrease transaction costs, particularly if there is potential for technical change.

Suggested Citation

  • McCann, Laura, 2013. "Transaction costs and environmental policy design," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 253-262.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:88:y:2013:i:c:p:253-262
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2012.12.012
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800912004958
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. MacDonald, James M. & McBride, William D., 2009. "The Transformation of U.S. Livestock Agriculture: Scale, Efficiency, and Risks," Economic Information Bulletin 58311, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Pannell, David J. & Roberts, Anna M. & Park, Geoff & Alexander, Jennifer, 2013. "Improving environmental decisions: A transaction-costs story," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 244-252.
    3. Ofei-Mensah, Albert & Bennett, Jeff, 2013. "Transaction costs of alternative greenhouse gas policies in the Australian transport energy sector," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 214-221.
    4. Sandra S. Batie, 2008. "Wicked Problems and Applied Economics," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1176-1191.
    5. McCann, Laura & Colby, Bonnie & Easter, K. William & Kasterine, Alexander & Kuperan, K.V., 2005. "Transaction cost measurement for evaluating environmental policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 527-542, March.
    6. Per Kristian Rørstad & Arild Vatn & Valborg Kvakkestad, 2007. "Why do transaction costs of agricultural policies vary?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(1), pages 1-11, January.
    7. Coggan, Anthea & Buitelaar, Edwin & Whitten, Stuart & Bennett, Jeff, 2013. "Factors that influence transaction costs in development offsets: Who bears what and why?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 222-231.
    8. Douadia Bougherara & Gilles Grolleau & Naoufel Mzoughi, 2009. "The ‘make or buy’ decision in private environmental transactions," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 79-99, February.
    9. Roberts, Anna M. & Pannell, David J. & Doole, Graeme & Vigiak, Olga, 2012. "Agricultural land management strategies to reduce phosphorus loads in the Gippsland Lakes, Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 11-22.
    10. Laura M. J. McCann & Adam R. Hafdahl, 2007. "Agency Perceptions of Alternative Salinity Policies: The Role of Fairness," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(3), pages 331-352.
    11. Regina Birner & Heidi Wittmer, 2004. "On the 'efficient boundaries of the state': the contribution of transaction-costs economics to the analysis of decentralization and devolution in natural resource management," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(5), pages 667-685, October.
    12. David J. Pannell, 2008. "Public Benefits, Private Benefits, and Policy Mechanism Choice for Land-Use Change for Environmental Benefits," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(2), pages 225-240.
    13. Hanley, Nick & Shogren, Jason & White, Ben, 2013. "Introduction to Environmental Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199568734.
    14. Key, Nigel D. & McBride, William D. & Ribaudo, Marc, 2008. "Changes in Manure Management in the Hog Sector," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6071, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    15. Joseph E. Aldy & Alan J. Krupnick & Richard G. Newell & Ian W. H. Parry & William A. Pizer, 2010. "Designing Climate Mitigation Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 903-934, December.
    16. J. H. Dales, 1968. "Land, Water, and Ownership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 1(4), pages 791-804, November.
    17. Abdalla, Charles W. & Borisova, Tatiana & Parker, Douglas D. & Saacke Blunk, Kristen, 2007. "Water Quality Credit Trading and Agriculture: Recognizing the Challenges and Policy Issues Ahead," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 22(2).
    18. Coggan, Anthea & Whitten, Stuart M. & Bennett, Jeff, 2010. "Influences of transaction costs in environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1777-1784, July.
    19. Krutilla, Kerry & Krause, Rachel, 2011. "Transaction Costs and Environmental Policy: An Assessment Framework and Literature Review," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 4(3–4), pages 261-354, April.
    20. Crase, Lin & O'Keefe, Sue & Dollery, Brian, 2013. "Talk is cheap, or is it? The cost of consulting about uncertain reallocation of water in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 206-213.
    21. Mettepenningen, E. & Beckmann, V. & Eggers, J., 2011. "Public transaction costs of agri-environmental schemes and their determinants--Analysing stakeholders' involvement and perceptions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 641-650, February.
    22. Grolleau, Gilles & McCann, Laura M.J., 2012. "Designing watershed programs to pay farmers for water quality services: Case studies of Munich and New York City," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 87-94.
    23. Garrick, Dustin & Whitten, Stuart M. & Coggan, Anthea, 2013. "Understanding the evolution and performance of water markets and allocation policy: A transaction costs analysis framework," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 195-205.
    24. Morgenstern, Richard & Harrington, Winston & Nelson, Per-Kristian, 1999. "On the Accuracy of Regulatory Cost Estimates," Discussion Papers dp-99-18, Resources For the Future.
    25. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
    26. Zilberman, David & Segerson, Kathleen, 2012. "Top Ten Design Elements to Achieve More Efficient Conservation Programs," C-FARE Reports 156623, Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE).
    27. Dustin Garrick & Bruce Aylward, 2012. "Transaction Costs and Institutional Performance in Market-Based Environmental Water Allocation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(3), pages 536-560.
    28. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
    29. Ervin, David E. & Graffy, Elisabeth A., 1996. "Leaner Environmental Policies for Agriculture," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 11(4).
    30. Vatn, Arild, 2005. "Rationality, institutions and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 203-217, November.
    31. Cacho, Oscar J. & Lipper, Leslie & Moss, Jonathan, 2013. "Transaction costs of carbon offset projects: A comparative study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 232-243.
    32. Ribaudo, Marc & Delgado, Jorge & Hansen, LeRoy T. & Livingston, Michael J. & Mosheim, Roberto & Williamson, James M., 2011. "Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy," Economic Research Report 118022, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    33. Stallman, Heidi R., 2011. "Ecosystem services in agriculture: Determining suitability for provision by collective management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 131-139.
    34. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2005. "Institutional ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-368, May.
    35. Marshall, Graham R., 2013. "Transaction costs, collective action and adaptation in managing complex social–ecological systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 185-194.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Krutilla, Kerry & Alexeev, Alexander, 2014. "The Political Transaction Costs and Uncertainties of Establishing Environmental Rights," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 299-309.
    2. Marshall, Graham R., 2013. "Transaction Costs, Collective Action And Adaptation In Managing Social-Ecological Systems," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152166, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    3. repec:spr:masfgc:v:23:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11027-016-9721-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Coria, Jessica & Jaraite, Jurate, 2015. "Carbon Pricing: Transaction Costs of Emissions Trading vs. Carbon Taxes," Working Papers in Economics 609, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Pannell, David J. & Roberts, Anna M. & Park, Geoff & Alexander, Jennifer, 2013. "Improving environmental decisions: A transaction-costs story," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 244-252.
    6. Moss, Jonathan & Cacho, Oscar J., 2014. "Farm-scale analysis of the potential uptake of carbon offset activities," 2014 Conference, August 28-29, 2014, Nelson, New Zealand 187402, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    7. Coggan, Anthea & Buitelaar, Edwin & Whitten, Stuart & Bennett, Jeff, 2013. "Factors that influence transaction costs in development offsets: Who bears what and why?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 222-231.
    8. Rajesh Singh & Quinn Weninger, 2017. "Cap-and-trade under transactions costs and factor irreversibility," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 64(2), pages 357-407, August.
    9. repec:eee:ecoser:v:15:y:2015:i:c:p:125-133 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:ecoser:v:9:y:2014:i:c:p:83-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:wsi:wepxxx:v:04:y:2018:i:01:n:s2382624x17500047 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:wsi:wepxxx:v:03:y:2017:i:01:n:s2382624x1650020x is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:forpol:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:141-149 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:grm:ecoyun:201712 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Garrick, Dustin & Whitten, Stuart M. & Coggan, Anthea, 2013. "Understanding the evolution and performance of water markets and allocation policy: A transaction costs analysis framework," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 195-205.
    16. Marshall, Graham R., 2013. "Transaction costs, collective action and adaptation in managing complex social–ecological systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 185-194.
    17. repec:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:148-162 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Phan, Thu-Ha Dang & Brouwer, Roy & Davidson, Marc David, 2017. "A Global Survey and Review of the Determinants of Transaction Costs of Forestry Carbon Projects," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 1-10.
    19. repec:eee:agiwat:v:190:y:2017:i:c:p:6-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:spr:masfgc:v:23:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11027-016-9736-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Schöttker, Oliver & Wätzold, Frank, 2017. "Cost-effectiveness of buying land for conservation versus paying land-users for conservation measures – the case of preserving an oligotrophic lake in a Natura 2000 area in North Germany," MPRA Paper 80661, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Thiel, Andreas & Schleyer, Christian & Hinkel, Jochen & Schlüter, Maja & Hagedorn, Konrad & Bisaro, Sandy & Bobojonov, Ihtiyor & Hamidov, Ahmad, 2016. "Transferring Williamson's discriminating alignment to the analysis of environmental governance of social-ecological interdependence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 159-168.
    23. Cacho, Oscar J. & Lipper, Leslie & Moss, Jonathan, 2013. "Transaction costs of carbon offset projects: A comparative study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 232-243.
    24. Irina Glazyrina & Sergey Lavlinskii, 2017. "Transaction Costs and Prospects for Public-private Partnership in the Russian Mineral Resourse Sector," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 7(1), pages 403-413.
    25. Daigneault, A. & Brown, P. & Gawith, D., 2016. "Dredging versus hedging: Comparing hard infrastructure to ecosystem-based adaptation to flooding," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 25-35.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:88:y:2013:i:c:p:253-262. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.