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Temporal displacement of environmental crime: Evidence from marine oil pollution

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  • Vollaard, Ben

Abstract

We provide evidence for temporal displacement of illegal discharges of oil from shipping, a major source of ocean pollution, in response to a monitoring technology that features variation in the probability of conviction by time of day. During the nighttime, evidence collected by Coast Guard aircraft using radar becomes contestable in court because the nature of an identified spot cannot be verified visually by an observer on board of the aircraft. Seasonal variation in time of sunset is used to distinguish evasive behavior from daily routines on board. Using data from surveillance flights above the Dutch part of the North Sea during 1992–2011, we provide evidence for a sudden increase in illegal discharges after sunset across the year. Our results show that even a tiny chance of getting caught and a mild punishment can have a major impact on behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Vollaard, Ben, 2017. "Temporal displacement of environmental crime: Evidence from marine oil pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 168-180.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:82:y:2017:i:c:p:168-180
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2016.11.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Zou, Eric, 2017. "Unwatched Pollution: The Effect of Incomplete Monitoring on Air Quality," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258274, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Gil, Ricard & Macis, Mario, 2015. ""Ain't No Rest for the Wicked": Population, Crime, and the 2013 Government Shutdown," IZA Discussion Papers 8864, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    K32; K42; Deterrence; Pollution; Environmental crime;

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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