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The use of warnings in the presence of errors

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  • Rousseau, Sandra

Abstract

This article studies the effects of warnings, an enforcement instrument which is often used by environmental inspection agencies. Due to regulatory errors, measured emissions are uncertain and some firms are unjustly penalized. Warnings can then be used as a means to reduce the consequences of these errors. Even though the presence of warnings creates some underdeterrence of medium-cost firms, such a system reduces the overcompliance of low-cost firms caused by the uncertainty surrounding measured emissions. Further, warnings reduce the number of incorrect prosecutions in the case of measurement errors, which is also welfare enhancing, albeit at the cost of increasing the number of violators that go unpunished. For small error sizes, the use of warnings is shown to be welfare improving compared to only using fines.

Suggested Citation

  • Rousseau, Sandra, 2009. "The use of warnings in the presence of errors," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 191-201, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:29:y:2009:i:3:p:191-201
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marcello Basili & Filippo Belloc & Simona Benedettini & Antonio Nicita, 2012. "Warning, Learning and Compliance: Evidence from Micro-data on Driving Behavior," Department of Economics University of Siena 639, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Arguedas, Carmen & Rousseau, Sandra, 2012. "Learning about compliance under asymmetric information," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 55-73.
    3. Carmen Arguedas & Sandra Rousseau, 2015. "Emission Standards and Monitoring Strategies in a Hierarchical Setting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 60(3), pages 395-412, March.
    4. Mungan Murat C., 2013. "Optimal Warning Strategies: Punishment Ought Not to Be Inflicted Where the Penal Provision Is Not Properly Conveyed," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(3), pages 303-339, November.
    5. Arun Malik, 2014. "The Desirability of forgiveness in regulatory enforcement," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 1-22, August.
    6. Timo Goeschl & Johannes Jarke, 2013. "The warnings puzzle: an upstream explanation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 339-360, December.
    7. Rousseau, Sandra & Telle, Kjetil, 2010. "On the existence of the optimal fine for environmental crime," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 329-337, December.
    8. Telle, Kjetil, 2013. "Monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 24-34.

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