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Growing state–federal conflicts in environmental policy: The role of market-based regulation

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  • Williams, Roberton C.

Abstract

In recent years, cases in which state governments chose to override federal environmental regulation with tighter regulations of their own have become increasingly common, even for pollutants that have substantial spillovers across states. This paper argues that this change arose at least in part because of a shift in the type of regulation used at the federal level, from command-and-control regulation toward more incentive-based regulation. Under an incentive-based federal regulation, a state imposing a tighter regulation will bear only part of the additional cost, and thus has more incentive to tighten regulation than it does under federal command-and-control. This difference helps to explain observed patterns of regulation. In addition, it has implications for the choice of regulatory instruments. For a pollutant that causes both local and spillover damage, a federal pollution tax is likely to yield a more efficient outcome than federal command-and-control policy or a federal system of tradable permits.

Suggested Citation

  • Williams, Roberton C., 2012. "Growing state–federal conflicts in environmental policy: The role of market-based regulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1092-1099.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:11:p:1092-1099
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2011.08.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Megan H. Accordino and Deepak Rajagopal, 2015. "When a National Cap-and-Trade Policy with Carve-out Provision May Be Preferable to a National CO2 Tax," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    2. repec:wsi:ccexxx:v:03:y:2012:i:04:n:s2010007812500182 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marianne Fay & Stephane Hallegatte & Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Julie Rozenberg & Ulf Narloch & Tom Kerr, 2015. "Decarbonizing Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21842.
    4. Banzhaf, H. Spencer & Chupp, B. Andrew, 2012. "Fiscal federalism and interjurisdictional externalities: New results and an application to US Air pollution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 449-464.
    5. Böhringer, Christoph & Rivers, Nicholas & Yonezawa, Hidemichi, 2016. "Vertical fiscal externalities and the environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 51-74.
    6. repec:tpr:glenvp:v:17:y:2017:i:2:p:45-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Millimet, Daniel L., 2013. "Environmental Federalism: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Carmen Arguedas & Dietrich Earnhart & Sandra Rousseau, 2017. "Non-uniform implementation of uniform standards," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 159-183, April.
    9. Ambec, Stefan & Coria, Jessica, 2015. "Strategic environmental regulation of multiple pollutants," Working Papers in Economics 626, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    10. Boadway, Robin & Tremblay, Jean-François, 2012. "Reassessment of the Tiebout model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1063-1078.
    11. Ambec, Stefan & Coria, Jessica, 2018. "Policy spillovers in the regulation of multiple pollutants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 114-134.
    12. Burtraw, Dallas & Woerman, Matt, 2013. "Economic ideas for a complex climate policy regime," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(S1), pages 24-31.
    13. William M. Shobe & Dallas Burtraw, 2012. "Rethinking Environmental Federalism In A Warming World," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(04), pages 1-33.
    14. Gordon, Roger H. & Cullen, Julie Berry, 2012. "Income redistribution in a Federal system of governments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1100-1109.
    15. Zhao, Xiaoli & Yin, Haitao & Zhao, Yue, 2015. "Impact of environmental regulations on the efficiency and CO2 emissions of power plants in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 238-247.
    16. Divya Datt & Meeta Keswani Mehra, 2016. "Environmental Policy in a Federation with Special Interest Politics and Inter-Governmental Grants," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(4), pages 575-595, August.
    17. Burtraw, Dallas & Woerman, Matt, 2013. "Economic Ideas for a Complex Climate Policy Regime," Discussion Papers dp-13-03-rev, Resources For the Future.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental regulation; Federalism; Pollution taxes; Tradable permits;

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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