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Can consumers enforce environmental regulations? The role of the market in hazardous waste compliance


  • Sarah Stafford



We examine the U.S. hazardous waste management industry to assess the role that consumers play in encouraging environmental compliance. We first examine whether environmental performance affects consumer demand and find that noncompliance does decrease demand, at least in the short term. Next we consider whether market characteristics affect compliance behavior. While we do not find evidence that market size affects behavior, local competition does appear to increase compliance. However, as competition becomes less localized, it has a smaller effect. Finally, regardless of the pressures exerted by consumers to comply, commercial managers are less likely to be in compliance than on-site managers. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Stafford, 2007. "Can consumers enforce environmental regulations? The role of the market in hazardous waste compliance," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 83-107, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:31:y:2007:i:1:p:83-107
    DOI: 10.1007/s11149-006-9006-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Dietrich Earnhart, 2004. "The Effects of Community Characteristics on Polluter Compliance Levels," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(3), pages 408-432.
    9. Konar, Shameek & Cohen, Mark A., 1997. "Information As Regulation: The Effect of Community Right to Know Laws on Toxic Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hilary Sigman & Sarah Stafford, 2011. "Management of Hazardous Waste and Contaminated Land," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 255-275, October.
    2. Sarah L. Stafford, 2016. "Environmental management systems and compliance at small and lightly regulated facilities: evidence from the New Hampshire hazardous waste program," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 292-314, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Holstein, Fredrik, 2009. "Environmental values - what’s the point?," Department of Economics publications 2205, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    5. Vincent Aloysius & Dadan Umar Daihani, 2011. "Closing The Waste Gap In Indonesia: Harnessing Industrial Waste To Prevent Pollution And Conserve Non-Renewable Resources," Working Papers 2011/29, Maastricht School of Management.
    6. Magnus Söderberg & Makoto Tanaka, 2012. "Spatial price homogeneity as a mechanism to reduce the threat of regulatory intervention in locally monopolistic sectors," Working Papers hal-00659458, HAL.

    More about this item


    Commercial environmentalism; Compliance; Enforcement; Hazardous waste; Market size; Competition; Q28; K42; D21;

    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory


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