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Environmental Regulation: Choice of Instruments under Imperfect Compliance

  • Inés Macho-Stadler

Compliance is an important issue in environmental regulation. In this paper, we discuss some of the key elements of the problem and analyze a situation where emissions are not random and firms are risk-neutral. We study the firm's decision on emissions and compliance when the environmental regulation is based on standards and the enforcement agency audits the firm with a certain probability. We then compare total emissions when environmental regulation is based on different instruments: standards, taxes, and tradeable permits. We show that when compliance is an issue, environmental taxes are superior to the other instruments. We also analyze the (static) efficiency of the solution.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 189.

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Date of creation: Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:189
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  1. Agnar Sandmo, 2002. "Efficient Environmental Policy with Imperfect Compliance," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 85-103, September.
  2. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
  3. Devon Garvie & Andrew Keeler, 1993. "Incomplete Enforcement with Endogenous Regulatory Choice," Working Papers 873, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Inés Macho-Stadler & David Pérez-Castrillo, 2004. "Optimal Enforcement Policy and Firm's Emissions and Compliance with Environmental Taxes," Working Papers 124, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  5. Foulon, Jerome & Lanoie, Paul & Laplante, Benoit, 2002. "Incentives for Pollution Control: Regulation or Information?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 169-187, July.
  6. Malik Arun S., 1993. "Self-Reporting and the Design of Policies for Regulating Stochastic Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 241-257, May.
  7. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 1991. "Optimal Law Enforcement with Self-Reporting of Behavior," NBER Working Papers 3822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Harford, Jon D., 1978. "Firm behavior under imperfectly enforceable pollution standards and taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 26-43, March.
  9. Anthony Heyes, 1994. "Environmental enforcement when ‘inspectability’ is endogenous: A model with overshooting properties," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(5), pages 479-494, October.
  10. Harford, Jon D., 1987. "Self-reporting of pollution and the firm's behavior under imperfectly enforceable regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 293-303, September.
  11. Heyes, Anthony, 2000. "Implementing Environmental Regulation: Enforcement and Compliance," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 107-29, March.
  12. Weitzman, Martin L, 1974. "Prices vs. Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 477-91, October.
  13. Stranlund, John K. & Dhanda, Kanwalroop Kathy, 1999. "Endogenous Monitoring and Enforcement of a Transferable Emissions Permit System," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 267-282, November.
  14. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
  15. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2002. "Prices versus quantities with incomplete enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 435-454, September.
  16. Livernois, John & McKenna, C. J., 1999. "Truth or consequences: Enforcing pollution standards with self-reporting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 415-440, March.
  17. Laurent Franckx, 1998. "The use of ambient inspections in environmental monitoring and enforcement when the inspection agency cannot commit itself to announced inspection probabilities," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9835, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  18. Dasgupta, Susmita & Laplante, Benoit & Mamingi, Nlandu & Wang, Hua, 2001. "Inspections, pollution prices, and environmental performance: evidence from China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 487-498, March.
  19. Malik, Arun S., 1990. "Markets for pollution control when firms are noncompliant," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 97-106, March.
  20. Keeler, Andrew G., 1991. "Noncompliant firms in transferable discharge permit markets: Some extensions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 180-189, September.
  21. Innes, Robert, 1999. "Remediation and self-reporting in optimal law enforcement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 379-393, June.
  22. McKenna, C.J. & Livernois, J., 1996. "Truth or Consequences? Enforcing Pollution Standards," Working Papers 1996-7, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
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