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Private citizen suits and public enforcement: Substitutes or complements?

  • Langpap, Christian
  • Shimshack, Jay P.

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.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WJ6-4YFCF3P-1/2/37d4333619575381019146474e8a1290
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 59 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 235-249

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:59:y:2010:i:3:p:235-249
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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  1. Magat, Wesley A & Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Effectiveness of the EPA's Regulatory Enforcement: The Case of Industrial Effluent Standards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 331-60, October.
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  3. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2005. "Regulator reputation, enforcement, and environmental compliance," MPRA Paper 25994, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Wendy Naysnerski & Tom Tietenberg, 1992. "Private Enforcement of Federal Environmental Law," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(1), pages 28-48.
  5. Christian Langpap, 2007. "Pollution abatement with limited enforcement power and citizen suits," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 57-81, February.
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  7. Sam Peltzman, 1976. "Toward a More General Theory of Regulation," NBER Working Papers 0133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
  9. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 2-16, January.
  10. Payne, A. Abigail, 1998. "Does the government crowd-out private donations? New evidence from a sample of non-profit firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 323-345, September.
  11. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hansen, Christian, 2008. "The reduced form: A simple approach to inference with weak instruments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 68-71, July.
  12. Mary E. Deily & Wayne B. Gray, 1989. "Enforcement of pollution regulations in a declining industry," Working Paper 8912, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  13. Heyes, Anthony & Rickman, Neil, 1999. "Regulatory dealing - revisiting the Harrington paradox," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 361-378, June.
  14. Dietrich Earnhart, 2004. "Panel Data Analysis of Regulatory Factors Shaping Environmental Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 391-401, February.
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