IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeeman/v51y2006i2p165-184.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Nonpoint pollution control: Inducing first-best outcomes through the use of threats

Author

Listed:
  • Segerson, Kathleen
  • Wu, JunJie

Abstract

In this paper we develop a simple economic model to analyze the use of a policy that combines a voluntary approach to controlling nonpoint-source pollution with a background threat of an ambient tax if the voluntary approach is unsuccessful in meeting a pre-specified environmental goal. We first consider the case where the policy is applied to a single farmer, and then extend the analysis to the case where the policy is applied to a group of farmers. We show that in either case such a policy can induce cost-minimizing abatement without the need for farm-specific information. In this sense, the combined policy approach is not only more effective in protecting environmental quality than a pure voluntary approach (which does not ensure that water quality goals are met) but also less costly than a pure ambient tax approach (since it entails lower information costs). However, when the policy is applied to a group of farmers, we show that there is a potential tradeoff in the design of the policy. In this context, lowering the cutoff level of pollution used for determining total tax payments increases the likely effectiveness of the combined approach but also increases the potential for free riding. By setting the cutoff level equal to the target level of pollution, the regulator can eliminate free riding and ensure that cost-minimizing abatement is the unique Nash equilibrium under which the target is met voluntarily. However, this cutoff level also ensures that zero voluntary abatement is a Nash equilibrium. In addition, with this cutoff level the equilibrium under which the target is met voluntarily will not strictly dominate the equilibrium under which it is not. We show that all results still hold if the background threat instead takes the form of reducing government subsidies if a pre-specified environmental goal is not met.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Segerson, Kathleen & Wu, JunJie, 2006. "Nonpoint pollution control: Inducing first-best outcomes through the use of threats," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 165-184, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:51:y:2006:i:2:p:165-184
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095-0696(05)00063-X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. JunJie Wu & Mark L. Teague & Harry P. Mapp & Daniel J. Bernardo, 1995. "An Empirical Analysis of the Relative Efficiency of Policy Instruments to Reduce Nitrate Water Pollution in the U.S. Southern High Plains," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 43(3), pages 403-420, November.
    2. Spraggon, John, 2002. "Exogenous targeting instruments as a solution to group moral hazards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 427-456, June.
    3. Na Li Dawson & Kathleen Segerson, 2008. "Voluntary Agreements with Industries: Participation Incentives with Industry-Wide Targets," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(1), pages 97-114.
    4. Steven Shavell, 2003. "Economic Analysis of Accident Law," NBER Working Papers 9694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Herriges Joseph A. & Govindasamy Ramu & Shogren Jason F., 1994. "Budget-Balancing Incentive Mechanisms," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 275-285, November.
    6. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1991. "Optimal Contracts for Teams," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 561-577, August.
    7. Nancy Anders Norton & Tim T. Phipps & Jerald J. Fletcher, 1994. "Role Of Voluntary Programs In Agricultural Nonpoint Pollution Policy," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(1), pages 113-121, January.
    8. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
    9. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1995. "Observability and choice of instrument mix in the control of externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 485-498, March.
    10. Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-341, June.
    11. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
    12. Joseph C. Cooper & Russ W. Keim, 1996. "Incentive Payments to Encourage Farmer Adoption of Water Quality Protection Practices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(1), pages 54-64.
    13. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1992. "Environmental policy design and dynamic nonpoint-source pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 22-39, July.
    14. Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
    15. Wu, JunJie & Babcock, Bruce A., 1995. "Optimal Design Of A Voluntary Green Payment Program Under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 20(2), pages 1-12, December.
    16. Babcock, Bruce A. & Lakshminarayan, P. G. & Wu, JunJie & Zilberman, David, 1996. "Economics of a Public Fund for Environmental Amenities (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1065, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    17. James S. Shortle & James W. Dunn, 1986. "The Relative Efficiency of Agricultural Source Water Pollution Control Policies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 68(3), pages 668-677.
    18. Gloria E. Helfand & Brett W. House, 1995. "Regulating Nonpoint Source Pollution Under Heterogeneous Conditions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(4), pages 1024-1032.
    19. Wu, JunJie & Babcock, Bruce A., 1999. "The Relative Efficiency of Voluntary vs Mandatory Environmental Regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 158-175, September.
    20. David Zilberman, 1996. "The Economics of a Public Fund for Environmental Amenities: A Study of CRP Contracts," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 961-971.
    21. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1991. "Environmental policy under imperfect information: Incentives and moral hazard," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 113-126, March.
    22. Darrell J. Bosch & Zena L. Cook & Keith O. Fuglie, 1995. "Voluntary versus Mandatory Agricultural Policies to Protect Water Quality: Adoption of Nitrogen Testing in Nebraska," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 17(1), pages 13-24.
    23. Wiebe, Keith & Tegene, Abebayehu & Kuhn, Betsey, 1996. "Partial Interests in Land: Policy Tools for Resource Use and Conservation," Agricultural Economic Reports 262040, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    24. JunJie Wu & Bruce A. Babcock, 1996. "Contract Design for the Purchase of Environmental Goods from Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 935-945.
    25. Cabe, Richard & Herriges, Joseph A., 1992. "The regulation of non-point-source pollution under imperfect and asymmetric information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 134-146, March.
    26. Luanne Lohr & Timothy A. Park, 1995. "Utility-Consistent Discrete-Continuous Choices in Soil Conservation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(4), pages 474-490.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Anna Alberini & Kathleen Segerson, 2002. "Assessing Voluntary Programs to Improve Environmental Quality," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 157-184, June.
    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. Kathleen Segerson, 2013. "Voluntary Approaches to Environmental Protection and Resource Management," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 161-180, June.
    4. Mitchell, Paul David, 1999. "The theory and practice of green insurance: insurance to encourage the adoption of corn rootworm IPM," ISU General Staff Papers 1999010108000013154, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. François Cochard & Marc Willinger & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2005. "Efficiency of Nonpoint Source Pollution Instruments: An Experimental Study," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 30(4), pages 393-422, April.
    6. P. Bontems & N. Turpin & Gilles Rotillon, 2003. "Acceptibility constraints and self-selecting agri-environmental policies," THEMA Working Papers 2003-14, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    7. Kathleen Segerson, 1999. "Mandatory versus voluntary approaches to food safety," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 53-70.
    8. Lichtenberg, Erik, 2002. "Agriculture and the environment," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 23, pages 1249-1313, Elsevier.
    9. François Cochard & Marc Willinger & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2002. "Efficiency of Nonpoint Source Pollution Instruments with Externality Among Polluters:An Experimental Study," Working Papers of BETA 2002-20, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    10. Colson, Gregory & Menapace, Luisa, 2012. "Multiple receptor ambient monitoring and firm compliance with environmental taxes under budget and target driven regulatory missions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 390-401.
    11. Millock, Katrin & Sunding, David & Zilberman, David, 2002. "Regulating Pollution with Endogenous Monitoring," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 221-241, September.
    12. Werner Hediger, 2003. "Alternative policy measures and farmers' participation to improve rural landscapes and water quality: A conceptual framework," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 139(III), pages 333-350, September.
    13. Segerson, Kathleen & Miceli, Thomas J., 1998. "Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Good or Bad News for Environmental Protection?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-130, September.
    14. Millock, Katrin & Xabadia, Angels & Zilberman, David, 2012. "Policy for the adoption of new environmental monitoring technologies to manage stock externalities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 102-116.
    15. Spraggon, John, 2002. "Exogenous targeting instruments as a solution to group moral hazards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 427-456, June.
    16. Katrin Millock & Angels Xabadia & David Zilberman, 2009. "Investment Policy for New Environmental Monitoring Technologies to Manage Stock Externalities," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 09010, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    17. Gaston Giordana & Marc Willinger, 2013. "Regulatory instruments for monitoring ambient pollution," Chapters, in: John A. List & Michael K. Price (ed.),Handbook on Experimental Economics and the Environment, chapter 7, pages 193-232, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Katrin Millock & Angels Xabadia & David Zilberman, 2009. "Investment Policy for New Environmental Monitoring Technologies to Manage Stock Externalities," Post-Print halshs-00367888, HAL.
    19. JunJie Wu & Bruce Babcock, 2001. "Spatial Heterogeneity and the Choice of Instruments to Control Nonpoint Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(2), pages 173-192, February.
    20. Larry Karp, 2005. "Nonpoint Source Pollution Taxes and Excessive Tax Burden," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(2), pages 229-251, June.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:jeeman:v:51:y:2006:i:2:p:165-184. 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: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870 .

    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.