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Property Transfers and Environmental Pollution: Incentive Effects of Alternative Policies

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  • Kathleen Segerson

Abstract

This paper considers how transferring some or all future responsibility for cleanup of a contaminated site affects the current owner's incentives to reduce contamination, given that he anticipates selling his property in the future. The results depend on the probabilities that the parties will be judgment-proof, the distribution of surplus, and whether there is joint and several liability. Contrary to popular belief, we show that transferring liability can actually increase the seller's incentive to invest in pollution abatement. Furthermore, abatement incentives are at least as great and generally greater with joint and several liability than without it.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathleen Segerson, 1994. "Property Transfers and Environmental Pollution: Incentive Effects of Alternative Policies," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(3), pages 261-272.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:70:y:1994:i:3:p:261-272
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. M J Hagey & E J Malecki, 1986. "Linkages in High Technology Industries: A Florida Case Study," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 18(11), pages 1477-1498, November.
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    3. M J Hagey & E J Malecki, 1986. "Linkages in high technology industries: a Florida case study," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 18(11), pages 1477-1498, November.
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    5. Raymond Vernon, 1966. "International Investment and International Trade in the Product Cycle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 190-207.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kathleen Segerson, 1997. "Government Regulation And Compensation: Implications For Environmental Quality And Natural Resource Use," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(4), pages 28-31, October.
    2. Hilary Sigman, 2010. "Environmental Liability and Redevelopment of Old Industrial Land," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 289-306, May.
    3. Jeffrey Zabel, 2007. "The Impact of Imperfect Information on the Transactions of Contaminated Properties," NCEE Working Paper Series 200703, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jan 2007.
    4. Chang, Howard F. & Sigman, Hilary, 2007. "The effect of joint and several liability under superfund on brownfields," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, pages 363-384.
    5. Bartsch, Elga, 1996. "Enforcement of environmental liability in the case of uncertain causality and asymmetric information," Kiel Working Papers 755, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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