Induced Innovation or a Paradox of Environmental Regulation?
In a seeming paradox, bluegrass seed production in the State of Washington increased following imposition of a statewide ban on stubble burning in 1996. Despite forecasts that alternative production practices would increase the cost of producing bluegrass seed so much that the industry would be driven from the state, production in the years 1997-2003 was higher than in any seven-year period in recorded history. This study seeks to explain why this occurred. Several hypotheses are put forward and systematically tested. The final hypothesis, induced innovation, cannot be formally tested because of data limitations, but it is examined by an assessment of innovations that occurred contemporaneously with the ban and by corroborative statistical evidence. The evidence is consistent with this hypothesis as a plausible explanation.
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