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Incentives for pollution abatement: Regulation, regulatory threats, and non-governmental pressures

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  • Kathryn Harrison

    (Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia)

  • Werner Antweiler

    (Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, University of British Columbia)

Abstract

In the last decade, voluntary efforts by firms to reduce their environmental impacts have received increasing attention from both policymakers and scholars. This article discusses polluters' incentives to reduce their releases. In particular, using data from Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory, it examines the impacts of conventional regulation, threats of regulation, and non-governmental pressures facilitated by public dissemination of information about pollutant releases. The vast majority of reductions reported to the inventory to date were found not to be voluntary, as has often been assumed, but are, rather, the result of direct regulation of a relatively small number of polluters. Strong effects of federal regulation were found among other sources, as well, with much weaker responses to the mere threat of regulation. However, of concern are the growth of less visible waste streams-such as land disposal and underground injection-as well as transfers of wastes to other communities. Finally, evidence is reported that some waste streams are increasing in toxicity, an effect that may outweigh the benefits of reductions in releases. © 2003 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathryn Harrison & Werner Antweiler, 2003. "Incentives for pollution abatement: Regulation, regulatory threats, and non-governmental pressures," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 361-382.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:22:y:2003:i:3:p:361-382
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.10137
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.10137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jo Crotty & Peter Rodgers, 2012. "Sustainable Development in the Russia Federation: The Limits of Greening within Industrial Firms," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 19(3), pages 178-190, May.
    2. Min-Dong Paul Lee & Michael Lounsbury, 2015. "Filtering Institutional Logics: Community Logic Variation and Differential Responses to the Institutional Complexity of Toxic Waste," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 847-866, June.
    3. Dorit Kerret & George M. Gray, 2007. "What Do We Learn from Emissions Reporting? Analytical Considerations and Comparison of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers in the United States, Canada, England, and Australia," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(1), pages 203-223, February.
    4. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2017. "Environmental and resource economics: A Canadian retrospective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1381-1413, December.
    5. Noor Muhammad & Frank Scrimgeour & Krishna Reddy & Sazali Abdin, 2016. "Emission Indices for Hazardous Substances: An Alternative Measure of Corporate Environmental Performance," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 23(1), pages 15-26, January.
    6. Grischa Perino, 2008. "The merits of new pollutants and how to get them when patents are granted," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(3), pages 313-327, July.
    7. McAusland, Carol & Millimet, Daniel L., 2013. "Do national borders matter? Intranational trade, international trade, and the environment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 411-437.
    8. Ping Lin & Yu Pang, 2020. "Command-and-control regulation, incentive for pollution abatement, and market structure," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 159-180, April.
    9. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2017. "Environmental and resource economics: A Canadian retrospective," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 50(5), pages 1381-1413, December.
    10. Werner Antweiler, 2003. "How Effective Is Green Regulatory Threat?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 436-441, May.
    11. Parry, Ian W.H. & Sigman, Hilary & Walls, Margaret & Williams, Roberton C., III, 2005. "The Incidence of Pollution Control Policies," Discussion Papers 10651, Resources for the Future.
    12. Werner Antweiler & Kathryn Harrison, 2003. "Toxic release inventories and green consumerism: empirical evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 36(2), pages 495-520, May.
    13. Noor Muhammad & Frank Scrimgeour & Krishna Reddy & Sazali Abidin, 2015. "The Impact of Corporate Environmental Performance on Market Risk: The Australian Industry Case," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 132(2), pages 347-362, December.
    14. Matthew Kotchen & Kathleen Segerson, 2020. "The Use of Group-Level Approaches to Environmental and Natural Resource Policy," NBER Working Papers 27142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Andersen, Dana C., 2017. "Do credit constraints favor dirty production? Theory and plant-level evidence," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 189-208.
    16. B. James Deaton & Anastasia M. Lintner & Donna R. Harrington, 2008. "Evaluating an Environmental Right: Information Disclosure, Public Comment, and Government Decision Making in Ontario," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 56(3), pages 277-294, September.
    17. Repetto, Robert, 2005. "Protecting investors and the environment through financial disclosure," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 51-68, March.
    18. Donna Ramirez Harrington, 2013. "Effectiveness Of State Pollution Prevention Programs And Policies," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 255-278, April.
    19. Keith Brouhle & Donna Harrington, 2010. "GHG Registries: Participation and Performance Under the Canadian Voluntary Climate Challenge Program," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(4), pages 521-548, December.

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