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Why Does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to Be Inadequate? A Preliminary Public Choice Analysis

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  • Andrea Kollmann

    () (Energy Institute, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Altenberger Straße 69, 4040 Linz, Austria)

  • Friedrich Schneider

    () (Institute of Economics, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Altenberger Straße 69, 4040 Linz, Austria)

Abstract

There is a widespread consensus among the most important players in developed countries (voters, politicians, producers, traditional and green interest groups and bureaucracies) that a shift towards an eco-social market economy is essential for sustainable growth. Nevertheless, market-based instruments have not as yet been implemented satisfactorily in environmental policy. To identify the reasons for this insufficient implementation over the past decade, the Public Choice theory is used. The players’ behavior is analyzed in order to show that their incentives for implementing market-based instruments in environmental policy, instead of command-and-control measures, are surprisingly weak. Knowing the obstacles to implementing market-based instruments provides valuable insight into how to overcome them.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Kollmann & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Why Does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to Be Inadequate? A Preliminary Public Choice Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(12), pages 1-25, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:12:p:3710-3734:d:10376
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:232-:d:127412 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Krumm, Raimund & Volkert, Jürgen, 2015. "Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der politischen Realisierbarkeit intra- und intergenerativer Gerechtigkeit," UFZ Discussion Papers 11/2015, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    3. Leo Wangler & Juan-Carlos Altamirano-Cabrera & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2013. "The political economy of international environmental agreements: a survey," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 387-403, September.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:837-:d:98883 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Strunz, Sebastian & Schindler, Harry, 2017. "Identifying barriers towards a post-growth economy: A political economy view," UFZ Discussion Papers 6/2017, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public choice and environmental policies; sustainability; voters; government; interest groups; tradable permits; green taxes [D23; D62; D72; D73; H23; Q57; Q58];

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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