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Enforcement of Environmental Protection Laws under Communism and Democracy

  • Earnhart, Dietrich
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    Lax enforcement of environmental protection laws in the formerly communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe is offered as one contributing factor to the large-scale environmental degradation that these countries have experienced. This article empirically examines enforcement responses to water-damaging "accidents" (for example, an oil spill) in the Czech Republic for the years 1988-92, a time period that spans both the communist political regime and the democratic political regime. In particular, it focuses on ex post penalties: required remediation (for example, cleanup after an oil spill) and monetary fines. Empirical analysis reveals the factors driving enforcement strategies in each political period and contrasts their influence under the two regimes. In particular, it identifies the operative liability rules guiding remediation and monetary fine decisions. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/467377
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    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Law & Economics.

    Volume (Year): 40 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 2 (October)
    Pages: 377-402

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:40:y:1997:i:2:p:377-402
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
    2. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1990. "Enforcement Costs and the Optimal Magnitude and Probability of Fines," NBER Working Papers 3429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Nash, John, 1991. "To make the punishment fit the crime: The theory and statistical estimation of a multi-period optimal deterrence model," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 101-110, May.
    4. Finsinger, J. & Hoehn, T. & Potoschnig, A., 1991. "The enforcement of product liability rules: A two-country analysis of court cases," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 133-148, September.
    5. Cohen, Mark A, 1987. "Optimal Enforcement Strategy to Prevent Oil Spills: An Application of a Principal-Agent Model with Moral Hazard," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 23-51, April.
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