IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Improving compliance with state environmental regulations


  • Raymond J. Burby
  • Robert G. Paterson


This article reports on empirical tests of two theories for improving compliance with state environmental regulations. One theory argues for centralization of enforcement responsibilities with state agencies, while the other focuses on enforcement strategies, arguing for an approach that emphasizes capacity building and the social and moral bases of compliance in addition to deterrence and the threatened application of sanctions. Using evidence from North Carolina, we show that centralization does not necessarily enhance compliance, but cooperative enforcement strategies can improve the effectiveness of regulations that seek to attain performance standards. Compliance with simpler specification standards, however, can be attained just as well with easier to administer deterrent enforcement strategies based on frequent inspections and adequate sanctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymond J. Burby & Robert G. Paterson, 1993. "Improving compliance with state environmental regulations," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 753-772.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:12:y:1993:i:4:p:753-772
    DOI: 10.2307/3325349

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert T. Nakamura & Thomas W. Church & Phillip J. Cooper, 1991. "Environmental dispute resolution and hazardous waste cleanups: A cautionary tale of policy implementation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 204-221.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. E. Dobrolyubova, 2016. "International Experience in Evaluating Effectiveness of Public Control in Occupational Safety," Public administration issues, Higher School of Economics, issue 2, pages 96-110.
    2. PeterJ May & Søren Winter, 1999. "Regulatory enforcement and compliance: Examining Danish agro-environmental policy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 625-651.
    3. Earnhart, Dietrich, 2004. "Regulatory factors shaping environmental performance at publicly-owned treatment plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 655-681, July.
    4. Alm, James & Shimshack, Jay, 2014. "Environmental Enforcement and Compliance: Lessons from Pollution, Safety, and Tax Settings," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 10(4), pages 209-274, December.
    5. Anna Rita Germani, 2007. "The Environmental Enforcement in the Civil and the Common Law Systems. A Case on the Economic Effects of Legal Institutions," Quaderni DSEMS 22-2007, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Matematiche e Statistiche, Universita' di Foggia.
    6. Earnhart, Dietrich H. & Glicksman, Robert L., 2015. "Coercive vs. cooperative enforcement: Effect of enforcement approach on environmental management," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 135-146.
    7. Corneliussen, Filippa, 2004. "Justifying non-compliance. A case study of a Norwegian biotech firm," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36054, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:56:y:2018:i:2:p:1357-1379 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Beatty, Timothy & Shimshack, Jay P., 2018. "Monitoring and Enforcement in a Food Safety Context," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 273913, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Holstein, Fredrik & Gren, Ing-Marie, 2013. "Violation of environmental regulations in Sweden: Economic motives, environmental attitudes, and social capital," Working Paper Series 2013:3, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department Economics.
    11. Holstein, Fredrik, 2009. "Environmental values - what’s the point?," Department of Economics publications 2205, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    12. Søren C. Winter & Peter J. May, 2001. "Motivation for Compliance with Environmental Regulations," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 675-698.
    13. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:9:p:3321-:d:170414 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Christian Engau & Volker Hoffmann, 2011. "Corporate response strategies to regulatory uncertainty: evidence from uncertainty about post-Kyoto regulation," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 44(1), pages 53-80, March.
    15. Sarah L. Stafford, 2011. "Do Environmental Audits Improve Long-term Compliance? Evidence from Manufacturing Facilities in Michigan," Working Papers 117, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    16. Kaine, Geoff & Murdoch, Helen & Lourey, Ruth & Bewsell, Denise, 2010. "A framework for understanding individual response to regulation," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 531-537, December.
    17. Bishal Bharadwaj, 2016. "Plastic Bag Ban in Nepal: Enforcement and Effectiveness," Working Papers id:11548, eSocialSciences.
    18. Stafford Sarah L, 2006. "Rational or Confused Polluters? Evidence from Hazardous Waste Compliance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-33, July.
    19. Lowdermilk, Jamey M. & Templeton, Scott R. & Privette, Charles V., III & Hayes, John C., 2011. "An Economic Analysis Of Sediment Control At Construction Sites: The Case Of Greenville County, South Carolina," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103976, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    20. repec:eee:wdevel:v:117:y:2019:i:c:p:313-327 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:12:y:1993:i:4:p:753-772. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.