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Political Competition, Rent Seeking and the Choice of Environmental Policy Instruments

  • R. Damania


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    This paper investigates the impact of political lobbying on the choice of environmental policy instruments. It is argued that the prevalence of pollution emission standards over more efficient policy instruments may result from rent seeking behaviour. The model further predicts that when an emission standard is used to control pollution, rival political parties have an incentive to set the same standard. There is therefore a convergence of policies. Moreover, it is shown that emission taxes are more likely to be supported and proposed by political parties which represent environmental interest groups. This feature appears to accord with the observed support for environmental taxes by ‘Green’ parties in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

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    Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 13 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 4 (June)
    Pages: 415-433

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:13:y:1999:i:4:p:415-433
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    1. Hillman, Arye L & Ursprung, Heinrich W, 1988. "Domestic Politics, Foreign Interests, and International Trade Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 719-45, September.
    2. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
    3. Buchanan, James M & Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Controls Versus Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 139-47, March.
    4. Conrad Klaus, 1993. "Taxes and Subsidies for Pollution-Intensive Industries as Trade Policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 121-135, September.
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