Monitoring policies to prevent oil spills: lessons from the theoretical literature
This paper analyzes the policies implemented by the US Coast Guard for regulating transfers of oil in US harbors, specifically, we evaluate those monitoring and enforcement programs aimed at ensuring that the necessary levels of care and maintenance are observed during the routine transfer of oil between shore facilities and either tankers or barges. Our aim is to bring to the attention of policy makers and others interested in the regulation of pollution some of the insights to be gained from dynamic game theory. In particular, we discuss the punitive value of selective and repeated monitoring, which can be used as a cheap way of enforcing observance of regulations. We conclude with some suggestions for policy improvements.
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