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The Impact of Industry Structure and Penalty Policies on Incentives for Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement

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  • Lear, Kelly Kristen
  • Maxwell, John W

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal fine for violations of environmental regulations, taking into account financial constraints facing regulated firms and the hierarchical structure of regulatory enforcement. Contrary to the existing literature, which suggests that maximal fines are sub-optimal, we find that the optimal fine is either the maximum amount the firm can afford to pay or zero (i.e., no regulation). The impact of a change in industry structure on the optimal fine, firm compliance and regulatory resource strategies is considered. We identify conditions under which the equilibrium level of regulatory resources decreases with an increase in the number of firms in the industry. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Lear, Kelly Kristen & Maxwell, John W, 1998. "The Impact of Industry Structure and Penalty Policies on Incentives for Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 127-148, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:14:y:1998:i:2:p:127-48
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    Cited by:

    1. Heyes, Anthony & Kapur, Sandeep, 2009. "Enforcement missions: Targets vs budgets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 129-140, September.
    2. Ya-Po Yang & Jin-Li Hu, 2012. "Gresham’s law in environmental protection," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 14(2), pages 103-122, April.
    3. Elizabeth Robinson, 2004. "Wanted dead and alive: Are hunting and protection of endangered species compatible?," Development and Comp Systems 0409066, EconWPA.
    4. Stafford, Sarah L., 2002. "The Effect of Punishment on Firm Compliance with Hazardous Waste Regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 290-308, September.
    5. Decker, Christopher S. & Pope, Christopher R., 2005. "Adherence to environmental law: the strategic complementarities of compliance decisions," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-5), pages 641-661, September.
    6. Takayoshi Shinkuma & Shunsuke Managi, 2012. "Effectiveness of policy against illegal disposal of waste," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 14(2), pages 123-145, April.
    7. Robinson, Elizabeth J.Z. & Kumar, Ajay Mahaputra & Albers, Heidi J., 2009. "Optimal Enforcement and Practical Issues of Resource Protection in Developing Countries," Discussion Papers dp-09-08-efd, Resources For the Future.

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