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Private citizen suits and public enforcement: Substitutes or complements?

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  • Langpap, Christian
  • Shimshack, Jay P.

Abstract

Every major domestic environmental statute provides for citizen suits yet we know little about their implications. This paper's key contribution is systematic micro-level empirical evidence on the extent to which private environmental prosecutions crowd out, or crowd in, public monitoring and public enforcement. We use judicial instruments in an attempt to isolate the causal influence of private enforcement on public enforcement. We find that private citizen suits crowd in public monitoring but significantly crowd out public sanctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Langpap, Christian & Shimshack, Jay P., 2010. "Private citizen suits and public enforcement: Substitutes or complements?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 235-249, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:59:y:2010:i:3:p:235-249
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2005. "Regulator reputation, enforcement, and environmental compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 519-540, November.
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    9. 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.
    10. Christian Langpap, 2007. "Pollution abatement with limited enforcement power and citizen suits," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 57-81, February.
    11. Earnhart, Dietrich, 2004. "Regulatory factors shaping environmental performance at publicly-owned treatment plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 655-681, July.
    12. Heyes, Anthony & Rickman, Neil, 1999. "Regulatory dealing - revisiting the Harrington paradox," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 361-378, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Larcom Shaun & Swanson Timothy, 2015. "Documenting Legal Dissonance: Legal Pluralism in Papua New Guinea," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 25-50, March.
    2. Louie Rivers & Tamara Dempsey & Jade Mitchell & Carole Gibbs, 2015. "Environmental Regulation and Enforcement: Structures, Processes and the Use of Data for Fraud Detection," Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management (JEAPM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 17(04), pages 1-29, December.
    3. Alm, James & Shimshack, Jay, 2014. "Environmental Enforcement and Compliance: Lessons from Pollution, Safety, and Tax Settings," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 10(4), pages 209-274, December.
    4. repec:kap:regeco:v:51:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11149-017-9330-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Timo Goeschl & Ole Jürgens, 2012. "Environmental quality and welfare effects of improving the reporting capability of citizen monitoring schemes," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 264-286, December.
    6. Wayne B. Gray & Jay P. Shimshack, 2011. "The Effectiveness of Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement: A Review of the Empirical Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    7. Beatty, Timothy & Shimshack, Jay P., 2018. "Monitoring and Enforcement in a Food Safety Context," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 273913, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Ashenmiller Bevin & Norman Catherine Shelley, 2011. "Measuring the Impact of Anti-SLAPP Legislation on Monitoring and Enforcement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-19, November.
    9. Grooms, Katherine K., 2015. "Enforcing the Clean Water Act: The effect of state-level corruption on compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 50-78.
    10. Mieno, Taro & Brozovic, Nicholas, 2012. "Unraveling deterrence effects of regulatory activities under Clean Water Act," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124612, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Anthony Heyes & Marcel Oestreich, 2017. "The Optimal NGO Chief: Strategic Delegation in Social Advocacy," Working Papers 1701, Brock University, Department of Economics.
    12. Goeschl, Timo & Jürgens, Ole, 2012. "Explaining uniformity in rule design: The role of citizen participation in enforcement," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 166-177.
    13. Xie, Rong-hui & Yuan, Yi-jun & Huang, Jing-jing, 2017. "Different Types of Environmental Regulations and Heterogeneous Influence on “Green” Productivity: Evidence from China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 104-112.

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