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To Comply or Not To Comply? Pollution Standard Setting Under Costly Monitoring and Sanctioning

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  • Carmen Arguedas

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Abstract

In this paper, we characterize optimal regulatory policies composed of pollution standards, probabilities of inspection and fines for non-compliance, in a context where both monitoring and sanctioning are socially costly, and penalties may include gravity and non-gravity components at the regulator's discretion. The optimal policy entails compliance with the standards as long as a quite intuitive condition is met. Non-compliant policies may include standards even below the pollution levels that minimize the sum of abatement costs and external damages. Interestingly, the appropriate structure of penalties under non-compliance is highly progressive, while the best possible shape of the fines under compliance is linear only if non-gravity sanctions are not allowed.
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Suggested Citation

  • Carmen Arguedas, 2008. "To Comply or Not To Comply? Pollution Standard Setting Under Costly Monitoring and Sanctioning," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 155-168, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:41:y:2008:i:2:p:155-168
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-007-9185-5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Carmen Arguedas & Francisco Cabo & Guiomar Martín-Herrán, 2017. "Optimal Pollution Standards and Non-compliance in a Dynamic Framework," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(3), pages 537-567, November.
    2. John K. Stranlund, 2010. "Should We Impose Emissions Taxes That Firms Evade?," Working Papers 2010-4, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics.
    3. Arguedas, Carmen & Rousseau, Sandra, 2009. "A note on the complementarity of uniform emission standards and monitoring strategies," Working Papers 2009/12, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
    4. 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.
    5. Sabine Aresin, 2015. "Monitoring Abatement in the Presence of an Import Quota on CERs," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2015-11, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    6. John Stranlund & Carlos Chávez, 2013. "Who should bear the administrative costs of an emissions tax?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 53-79, August.
    7. Stranlund, John K. & Moffitt, L. Joe, 2014. "Enforcement and price controls in emissions trading," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 20-38.
    8. Carmen Arguedas, 2013. "Pollution standards, technology investment and fines for non-compliance," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 156-176, October.
    9. Sverre Grepperud, 2015. "Optimal safety standards when accident prevention depends upon both firm and worker effort," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 505-521, June.
    10. Marcelo Caffera & Carlos Chávez, 2011. "The Cost-Effective Choice of Policy Instruments to Cap Aggregate Emissions with Costly Enforcement," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(4), pages 531-557, December.
    11. Hugo Salgado & Carlos Chávez, 2016. "Using Taxes to Deter Illegal Fishing in ITQ Systems," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(4), pages 709-724, August.
    12. Restiani, Phillia & Betz, Regina, 2010. "A Theoretical Model of Optimal Compliance Decisions under Different Penalty Designs in Emissions Trading Markets," Research Reports 107585, Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub.
    13. Caffera Marcelo & Chávez Carlos, 2016. "The Regulatory Choice of Noncompliance in the Lab: Effect on Quantities, Prices, and Implications for the Design of a Cost-Effective Policy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 727-753, April.
    14. Marcelo Caffera & Carlos chavez, 2012. "Complementarity of inspections and permits as leverages for capping emissions: experimental evidence," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1207, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
    15. Stranlund, John K. & Chávez, Carlos A. & Villena, Mauricio G., 2009. "The optimal pricing of pollution when enforcement is costly," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 183-191, September.
    16. Arguedas, Carmen & Earnhart, Dietrich & Rousseau, Sandra, 2013. "Effluent Limits, Ambient Quality, and Monitoring," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2013/08, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
    17. Carmen Arguedas & Sandra Rousseau, 2015. "Emission Standards and Monitoring Strategies in a Hierarchical Setting," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 60(3), pages 395-412, March.
    18. Marcelo Caffera & Carlos Chávez & Analia Ardente, 2013. "Does the structure of the fine matter?," Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers 1305, Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo..
    19. repec:kap:regeco:v:51:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11149-017-9330-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Standards; Monitoring; Convex fines; Non-compliance; Non-gravity sanctions; K32; K42; L51; Q28;

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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