IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

How should an accumulative toxic substance be banned?

  • Michael Toman
  • Karen Palmer

The harmful effects on human health or ecosystems of many toxic substances depend on their cumulative concentration in the carrying medium (water, soil, or air), not just on the annual deposition rates of the substances. Accumulative toxic substances pose challenges to regulatory policy that are not faced when controlling pollutants whose damaging effects are though to depend primarily on annual emission flows. An increasingly common response is to phase out offending uses or production of the substance. In this paper we take as given the goal of phasing out an accumulative pollutant and examine different ways this could be done using a simple, partial-equilibrium dynamic model. We focus on phaseout measures in which the cumulative production and release of the offending substance over the transition period is fixed. Once this cumulative volume is reached, users must convert to a known but higher-cost substitute that is assumed to be benign. The key to the analysis is the observation that the quota on cumulative production makes production of the toxic substance during the transition analogous to extraction of an exhaustible resource with a higher-cost, nonexhaustible ‘backstop’ technology. Using this framework, we first describe the cost-effective outcome when the ‘sunset’ date is chosen to maximize product market surplus subject to the cumulative production constraint. This outcome is compared to one in which the regulator fixes the sunset date, and one in which the regulator limits annual production as well as cumulative production out of concern for acute exposure effects. Finally, we discuss the kinds of market-based policy instruments that would be appropriate for supporting a cost-effective outcome. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF02441371
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

Volume (Year): 9 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 83-102

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:9:y:1997:i:1:p:83-102
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Malueg, David A., 1990. "Welfare consequences of emission credit trading programs," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 66-77, January.
  2. Jon Conrad & Lars Olson, 1992. "The economics of a stock pollutant: Aldicarb on Long Island," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(3), pages 245-258, May.
  3. Becker, Robert A., 1982. "Intergenerational equity: The capital-environment trade-off," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 165-185, June.
  4. Eswaran, Mukesh & Lewis, Tracy R., 1984. "Ultimate recovery of an exhaustible resource under different market structures," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 55-69, March.
  5. Forster, B A, 1973. "Optimal Consumption Planning in a Polluted Environment," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 49(128), pages 534-45, December.
  6. Asako, Kazumi, 1980. "Economic growth and environmental pollution under the max-min principle," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 157-183, September.
  7. Manne, Alan S & Richels, Richard G, 1991. "International Trade in Carbon Emission Rights: A Decomposition Procedure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 135-39, May.
  8. Reinganum, Jennifer R., 1982. "Uncertain Innovation and the Persistence of Monopoly," Working Papers 431, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  9. Borenstein, Severin, 1988. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Markets for Operating Licenses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 357-85, May.
  10. Gilbert, Richard J, 1979. "Optimal Depletion of an Uncertain Stock," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 47-57, January.
  11. C. G. Plourde, 1972. "A Model of Waste Accumulation and Disposal," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 5(1), pages 119-25, February.
  12. Loury, Glenn C, 1978. "The Optimal Exploitation of an Unknown Reserve," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 621-36, October.
  13. Oates, Wallace E. & Strassmann, Diana L., 1984. "Effluent fees and market structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 29-46, June.
  14. Hahn, Robert W., 1982. "Market Power and Transferable Property Rights," Working Papers 402, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  15. Cropper, M. L., 1976. "Regulating activities with catastrophic environmental effects," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 1-15, June.
  16. Griffin, Ronald C., 1987. "Environmental policy for spatial and persistent pollutants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 41-53, March.
  17. Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1982. "A Dynamic Game of R and D: Patent Protection and Competitive Behavior," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 671-88, May.
  18. Hoel, Michael, 1993. "Intertemporal properties of an international carbon tax," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 51-70, March.
  19. Besanko, David, 1987. "Performance versus design standards in the regulation of pollution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 19-44, October.
  20. Olli Tahvonen, 1995. "Dynamics of pollution control when damage is sensitive to the rate of pollution accumulation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 9-27, January.
  21. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521297615 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Falk Ita & Mendelsohn Robert, 1993. "The Economics of Controlling Stock Pollutants: An Efficient Strategy for Greenhouse Gases," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 76-88, July.
  23. Lee, Dwight R., 1975. "Efficiency of pollution taxation and market structure," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 69-72, September.
  24. Grubb, Michael & Chapuis, Thierry & Duong, Minh Ha, 1995. "The economics of changing course : Implications of adaptability and inertia for optimal climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 417-431.
  25. Barnett, A H, 1980. "The Pigouvian Tax Rule under Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1037-41, December.
  26. Keeler, Emmett & Spence, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1972. "The optimal control of pollution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 19-34, February.
  27. Rüdiger Pethig, 1989. "Problems of Irreversibility in the Control of Persistent Pollutants," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 04-89, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:9:y:1997:i:1:p:83-102. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.