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Enforcement and over-compliance

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  • Shimshack, Jay P.
  • Ward, Michael B.

Abstract

Economists generally view environmental enforcement as a tool to secure compliance with regulations. This paper demonstrates that credible enforcement significantly increases statutory over-compliance with regulations as well. We find that many plants with discharges typically below legally permitted levels reduce discharges further when regulators issue fines, even on other plants. Also, non-compliant plants often respond to sanctions by reducing discharges well beyond reductions required by law. Thus, increased enforcement generates substantial discharge reductions above and beyond those expected from simply deterring violations.
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Suggested Citation

  • Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2008. "Enforcement and over-compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 90-105, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:55:y:2008:i:1:p:90-105
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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