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Motivation for Compliance with Environmental Regulations

Author

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  • Søren C. Winter

    (Danish National Institute of Social Research, Copenhagen, Denmark)

  • Peter J. May

    (Department of Political Science, University of Washington, Seattle)

Abstract

A combination of calculated, normative, and social motivations as well as awareness of rules and capacity to comply are thought to foster compliance with regulations. Hypotheses about these factors were tested with data concerning Danish farmers' compliance with agro-environmental regulations. Three key findings emerge: that farmers' awareness of rules plays a critical role; that normative and social motivations are as influential as calculated motivations in enhancing compliance; and that inspectors' enforcement style affects compliance differently from that posited in much of the literature. It was also found that formalism in inspection can be helpful to a point, while coercion by inspectors can backfire. Taken together, these findings counter arguments concerning the harm of legalism and the benefits of flexible enforcement. This study contributes to the understanding of factors that shape compliance with social and environmental regulations. © 2001 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:20:y:2001:i:4:p:675-698 DOI: 10.1002/pam.1023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
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