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The optimal pricing of pollution when enforcement is costly

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  • Stranlund, John K.
  • Chávez, Carlos A.
  • Villena, Mauricio G.

Abstract

We consider the pricing of a uniformly mixed pollutant with a model of optimal, possibly firm-specific, emissions taxes and their enforcement under incomplete information about firms' abatement costs, enforcement costs, and pollution damage. We argue that optimality requires an enforcement strategy that induces full compliance by every firm, except possibly when a regulator can base the probabilities of detecting individual violations on observable correlates of violators' actual emissions. Moreover, optimality requires discriminatory taxes, except when a regulator is unable to use observable firm-level characteristics to gain some information about the variation in firms' abatement costs or monitoring costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Stranlund, John K. & Chávez, Carlos A. & Villena, Mauricio G., 2009. "The optimal pricing of pollution when enforcement is costly," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 183-191, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:58:y:2009:i:2:p:183-191
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    21. Stranlund, John K & Chavez, Carlos A, 2000. "Effective Enforcement of a Transferable Emissions Permit System with a Self-Reporting Requirement," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 113-131, September.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Chávez & John Stranlund, 2009. "A Note on Emissions Taxes and Incomplete Information," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 137-144, September.
    2. Joschka Gerigk & Ian MacKenzie & Markus Ohndorf, 2015. "A Model of Benchmarking Regulation: Revisiting the Efficiency of Environmental Standards," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 62(1), pages 59-82, September.
    3. Min Chen & Konstantinos Serfes, 2012. "Minimum quality standard regulation under imperfect quality observability," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 269-291, April.
    4. repec:eee:jeeman:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:62-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. John K. Stranlund, 2010. "Should We Impose Emissions Taxes That Firms Evade?," Working Papers 2010-4, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    6. David M. McEvoy & John K. Stranlund, 2007. "Costly Enforcement of Voluntary Environmental Agreements with Industries," Working Papers 2007-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    7. Villegas, Clara & Coria, Jessica, 2009. "Taxes, Permits, and the Adoptation of Abatement Technology under Imperfect Compliance," Discussion Papers dp-09-20-efd, Resources For the Future.
    8. Pauli Lappi, 2016. "The welfare ranking of prices and quantities under noncompliance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(2), pages 269-288, April.
    9. John Stranlund & Carlos Chávez, 2013. "Who should bear the administrative costs of an emissions tax?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 53-79, August.
    10. Stranlund, John K. & Moffitt, L. Joe, 2014. "Enforcement and price controls in emissions trading," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 20-38.
    11. Marcelo Caffera & Carlos Chávez, 2011. "The Cost-Effective Choice of Policy Instruments to Cap Aggregate Emissions with Costly Enforcement," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(4), pages 531-557, December.
    12. Hugo Salgado & Carlos Chávez, 2016. "Using Taxes to Deter Illegal Fishing in ITQ Systems," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(4), pages 709-724, August.
    13. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10797-017-9439-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Clara Villegas-Palacio & Jessica Coria, 2010. "On the interaction between imperfect compliance and technology adoption: taxes versus tradable emissions permits," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 274-291, December.
    15. Jessica Coria & Clara Villegas-Palacio, 2014. "Regulatory Dealing: Technology Adoption Versus Enforcement Stringency Of Emission Taxes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(2), pages 451-473, April.
    16. David McEvoy & John Stranlund, 2010. "Costly Enforcement of Voluntary Environmental Agreements," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(1), pages 45-63, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Compliance Enforcement Emissions taxes Monitoring Asymmetric information Uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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