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Enforcement Leverage with Fixed Inspection Capacity

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  • Liu, Lirong
  • Neilson, William

Abstract

We develop a targeting enforcement mechanism in the context of fixed inspection capacity due to budget constraint. A fixed number of firms are selected for inspection and those with the highest emissions are targeted with higher inspection probability. This structure induces dynamic rank-order tournaments among inspected firms. The differentiated inspection probabilities between targeted and untargeted firms induces leverage effects while the rank-order tournament induces competition effect. The combinations of leverage and competition effects give firms more incentive to abate and stay in compliance. We use numerical simulations to show that targeted firms should be inspected with high probability and that about 2/3 of inspections should be allocated to targeted firms. Furthermore, even suboptimal allocations of inspections and firms to the targeted and untargeted groups can out-perform static enforcement schemes.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Lirong & Neilson, William, 2013. "Enforcement Leverage with Fixed Inspection Capacity," Strategic Behavior and the Environment, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 305-328, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jnlsbe:102.00000034
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/102.00000034
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Laurent Franckx & Isabelle Brose & Alessio DAmato, 2004. "Multitask Rank Order Tournaments," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(10), pages 1-10.
    3. Carol Adaire Jones, 1989. "Standard setting with incomplete enforcement revisited," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 72-87.
    4. Scott M. Gilpatric & Christian A. Vossler & Michael McKee, 2011. "Regulatory enforcement with competitive endogenous audit mechanisms," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(2), pages 292-312, June.
    5. Sarah L. Stafford, 2008. "Self-Policing in a Targeted Enforcement Regime," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 934-951, April.
    6. Friesen, Lana, 2003. "Targeting enforcement to improve compliance with environmental regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 72-85, July.
    7. Raymond, Mark, 1999. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted: a reconsideration under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 289-295, August.
    8. Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
    9. Lars Hansen & Frank Jensen & Linda Nøstbakken, 2014. "Quota Enforcement in Resource Industries: Self-Reporting and Differentiated Inspections," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(4), pages 539-562, August.
    10. Harford, Jon D., 1991. "Measurement error and state-dependent pollution control enforcement," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 67-81, July.
    11. Harford, Jon D. & Harrington, Winston, 1991. "A reconsideration of enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 391-395, August.
    12. Barry J. Nalebuff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1983. "Prices and Incentives: Towards a General Theory of Compensation and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 21-43, Spring.
    13. Alm, James & McKee, Michael, 2004. "Tax compliance as a coordination game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 297-312, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilpatric, Scott M. & Vossler, Christian A. & Liu, Lirong, 2015. "Using competition to stimulate regulatory compliance: A tournament-based dynamic targeting mechanism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 182-196.
    2. Springborn, Michael R. & Lindsay, Amanda R. & Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca S., 2016. "Harnessing enforcement leverage at the border to minimize biological risk from international live species trade," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PB), pages 98-112.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monitoring and enforcement; Environmental regulation; Targeting; Leveraging; Rank-order tournament;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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