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Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Household and Municipal Recycling?

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  • Matthew Gunter

Abstract

Do economists reach a conclusion on household and municipal recycling? I explore the policy judgments of published economists on recycling and find that there is no broad consensus. The mainstream recycling literature is dominated by a guided-market approach; taxes and subsidies are advocated to correct for market failures. There are two less popular but still significant approaches: a minimal government laissez faire approach and a command and control regulatory approach. Laissez faire economists advocate little or no government intervention in recycling and waste management markets. Command and control economists usually advocate mandatory recycling and regulation. The paper concludes with a brief critique of the interventionist policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Gunter, 2007. "Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Household and Municipal Recycling?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 4(1), pages 83-111, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:4:y:2007:i:1:p:83-111
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Recycling; solid waste; economists; methodology of economics; property rights;

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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    1. 資源回收 in Wikipedia Chinese ne '')
    2. Recycling in Wikipedia English ne '')

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