Non-binding voluntary agreements
In reality, most voluntary agreements with polluters (VAs) are not enforceable in the sense that no legal tools are available to enforce Örmsí commitments. We examine whether such VAs are able to achieve an e¢ cient level of environmental protection when they are obtained under the legislative threat of a pollution quota. We show that they can improve social welfare relative to legislative intervention when lobbying Congress is very e§ective and when the polluter and the regulator do not discount future costs and beneÖts heavily. These Öndings suggest that VAs should be used selectively, taking into account sector characteristics and the degree of ináuence of lobbying on Congress.
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