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Informal Sector Pollution Control: What Policy Options Do We Have?

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  • Blackman, Allen

Abstract

In developing countries, urban clusters of informal firms such as brick kilns and leather tanneries can create severe pollution problems. However, these firms are quite difficult to regulate for a variety of technical and political reasons. Drawing on the literature, this paper first develops a list of feasible environmental management policies. It then examines how these policies have fared in four independent efforts to control emissions from informal brick kilns in northern Mexico. The case studies suggest that: (i) conventional command and control process standards are generally only enforceable when buttressed by peer monitoring, (ii) surprisingly, clean technologies can be successfully diffused even when they raise variable costs, in part because early adopters have an economic incentive to promote further adoption, (iii) boycotts of "dirty" goods sold in informal markets are unenforceable, (iv) well-organized informal firms can block implementation of costly abatement strategies such as relocation, and (v) private-sector-led initiatives may be best suited for informal sector pollution control.

Suggested Citation

  • Blackman, Allen, 2000. "Informal Sector Pollution Control: What Policy Options Do We Have?," Discussion Papers 10634, Resources for the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:rffdps:10634
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/10634/files/dp000002.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eskeland, Gunnar S & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1992. "Policy Instruments for Pollution Control in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 7(2), pages 145-169, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blackman, Allen & Kildegaard, Arne, 2004. "Clean Technological Change in Developing-Country Industrial Clusters: Mexican Leather Tanning," Discussion Papers 10545, Resources for the Future.
    2. Timo Goeschl & Ole Jürgens, 2012. "Environmental quality and welfare effects of improving the reporting capability of citizen monitoring schemes," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 264-286, December.
    3. Morgenstern, Richard D. & Krupnick, Alan J. & Zhang, Xuehua, 2002. "The Ancillary Carbon Benefits of SO2 Reductions from a Small-Boiler Policy in Taiyuan, PRC," Discussion Papers 10632, Resources for the Future.
    4. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2013. "Empowering neighbors versus imposing regulations: An experimental analysis of pollution reduction schemes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 469-484.
    5. Biswas, Amit K. & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Thum, Marcel, 2012. "Pollution, shadow economy and corruption: Theory and evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 114-125.
    6. Elisa Giuliani, 2016. "Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries’ Industrial Clusters," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 39-54, January.
    7. repec:spr:jknowl:v:9:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s13132-016-0384-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Baksi, Soham & Bose, Pinaki, 2016. "Informal sector, regulatory compliance, and leakage," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 166-176.
    9. repec:eee:jbvent:v:32:y:2017:i:4:p:420-442 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. GOMADO, Kwamivi Mawuli, 2018. "Diversité ethnique et déforestation dans les pays en développement: identification des principaux canaux
      [Ethnic diversity and deforestation in developing countries: identifying the transmission ch
      ," MPRA Paper 89380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Elisa Giuliani, 2016. "Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries’ Industrial Clusters," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 39-54, January.
    12. Blackman, Allen & Shih, Jhih-Shyang & Evans, David & Batz, Michael & Newbold, Stephen & Cook, Joseph, 2006. "The benefits and costs of informal sector pollution control: Mexican brick kilns," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 603-627, October.
    13. Webb, Justin W. & Bruton, Garry D. & Tihanyi, Laszlo & Ireland, R. Duane, 2013. "Research on entrepreneurship in the informal economy: Framing a research agenda," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 598-614.
    14. Sudeshna Chattopadhyay & Sarmila Banerjee & Katrin Millock, 2010. "Pollution Control Instruments in the Presence of an Informal Sector," Post-Print halshs-00560558, HAL.
    15. Kalim Shah & Jorge Rivera, 2013. "Do industry associations influence corporate environmentalism in developing countries? Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 46(1), pages 39-62, March.
    16. Keith Brouhle & Charles Griffiths & Ann Wolverton, 2004. "The Use of Voluntary Approaches for Environmental Policymaking in the U.S," NCEE Working Paper Series 200405, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised May 2004.
    17. Eckert Heather L, 2006. "Public Complaints and Alberta's Environmental Regulation," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-25, October.

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    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy;

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