IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Cleanup delays at hazardous waste sites: an incomplete information game


  • Rausser, Gordon C.
  • Simon, Leo K.
  • Zhao, Jinhua


This paper studies the incentives facing Potentially Responsible Parties at a hazardous waste site to promote excessive investigation of the site and thus postpone the beginning of the remediation phase of the cleanup. We model the problem as an incomplete information, simultaneous-move game between PRPs. We assume that PRP's liability shares are predetermined. Each PRP's type is its private information about the precision of its own records relating to the site. A strategy for a PRP is a function mapping its type into announced levels of precision. Once types have been realized, the regulator aggregates the realized precision announcements and imposes the investigation schedule according to a predetermined policy function. We show that a pure-strategy Nash equilibrium exists, in which each PRP's strategy is monotone increasing in its type. We prove that PRPs with higher liability shares have greater incentives to delay than those with lower shares. We also show that under certain conditions, when liability shares become more homogeneous, delay becomes more likely. We demonstrate that when certain conditions are imposed on our model, it predicts that two widespread practices--de minimis buyouts and the formation of steering committees--will tend to increase delay.

Suggested Citation

  • Rausser, Gordon C. & Simon, Leo K. & Zhao, Jinhua, 1999. "Cleanup delays at hazardous waste sites: an incomplete information game," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt2m01d1r0, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt2m01d1r0

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-180, January.
    2. Athey, Susan, 2001. "Single Crossing Properties and the Existence of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Games of Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 861-889, July.
    3. Rausser, Gordon C. & Simon, Leo K. & Zhao, Jinhua, 1998. "Information Asymmetries, Uncertainties, and Cleanup Delays at Superfund Sites," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 48-68, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt2m01d1r0. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.