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Environmental Policy with Collective Waste Disposal


  • 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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  • Hamilton, Stephen F. & Sproul, Thomas W. & Sunding, David & Zilberman, David, 2013. "Environmental Policy with Collective Waste Disposal," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151142, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:151142

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    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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    Environmental Economics and Policy;

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