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Enforcement Federalism: Comparing the Effectiveness of Federal Punishment versus State Punishment

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  • Dietrich Earnhart

    (University of Kansas)

  • Lana Friesen

    (University of Queensland)

Abstract

Responsibility for enforcing environmental protection laws often falls on both federal and state agencies. We investigate whether enforcement and monitoring taken by the federal agency—the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—and enforcement and monitoring actions taken by U.S. state environmental agencies differentially affect the compliance behavior of pollution point sources regulated under the U.S. Clean Water Act. Our results demonstrate that federal inspections are more effective than state inspections, yet state fines are more effective than federal fines, at inducing compliance with Clean Water Act-imposed discharge limits.

Suggested Citation

  • Dietrich Earnhart & Lana Friesen, 2021. "Enforcement Federalism: Comparing the Effectiveness of Federal Punishment versus State Punishment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 78(2), pages 227-255, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:78:y:2021:i:2:d:10.1007_s10640-020-00530-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-020-00530-0
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    Cited by:

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Enforcement; Monitoring; Inspections; Compliance; Wastewater;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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