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Environmental Policy with Collective Waste Disposal

Listed author(s):
  • Hamilton, Stephen F.
  • Sproul, Thomas W.
  • Sunding, David
  • Zilberman, David

Centralized collection and disposal is an integral component of waste management strategies for many solid and liquid wastes, and carbon capture and storage is currently being considered for gaseous waste. In this paper we show how collective waste disposal systems introduce essential changes in the design of optimal environmental policy. Absent collective disposal, an optimal environmental policy imposes relatively stringent regulations on polluters in regions where local environmental damage functions are “high”; however, under collective waste disposal, the optimal environmental policy level increases monotonically over distance from the disposal site, and this is true irrespective of the degree of spatial heterogeneity in local environmental damage functions. We characterize the optimal spatial pattern of environmental policy levels under collective waste disposal and identify optimal membership size for waste disposal networks comprised of homogeneous producers.

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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 151142.

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Date of creation: 2013
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:151142
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  1. Vernon L. Smith, 1972. "Dynamics of Waste Accumulation: Disposal versus Recycling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(4), pages 600-616.
  2. Ann Wolverton & Don Fullerton, 2000. "Two Generalizations of a Deposit-Refund Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 238-242, May.
  3. Fullerton Don & Kinnaman Thomas C., 1995. "Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 78-91, July.
  4. Wanhong Yang & Madhu Khanna & Richard Farnsworth, 2005. "Effectiveness of Conservation Programs in Illinois and Gains from Targeting," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1248-1255.
  5. Margriet Caswell & Erik Lichtenberg & David Zilberman, 1990. "The Effects of Pricing Policies on Water Conservation and Drainage," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 72(4), pages 883-890.
  6. Isik, Murat & Khanna, Madhu, 2002. "Uncertainty and spatial variability: incentives for variable rate technology adoption in agriculture," Risk, Decision and Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 249-265, December.
  7. Kurt A. Schwabe & Iddo Kan & Keith C. Knapp, 2006. "Drainwater Management for Salinity Mitigation in Irrigated Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(1), pages 133-149.
  8. Hilary A. Sigman, 1995. "A Comparison of Public Policies for Lead Recycling," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(3), pages 452-478, Autumn.
  9. Dinar, Ariel & Letey, J., 1991. "Agricultural water marketing, allocative efficiency, and drainage reduction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 210-223, May.
  10. Palmer, Karen & Walls, Margaret, 1997. "Optimal policies for solid waste disposal Taxes, subsidies, and standards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 193-205, August.
  11. Dinan Terry M., 1993. "Economic Efficiency Effects of Alternative Policies for Reducing Waste Disposal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 242-256, November.
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