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The Public Management of Environmental Risk: Separating Ex Ante and Ex Post Monitors

  • Hiriart, Yolande
  • Martimort, David
  • Pouyet, Jérôme

When firms undertake activities which are environmentally risky, the divergence between social and private incentives to exert safety care requires public intervention. This control occurs both through ex ante regulation and ex post legal investigation. We delineate the respective scopes of those two kinds of monitoring when regulators and judges may not be benevolent. Separation between the ex ante and the ex post monitors of the firm helps to prevent capture. The likelihood of both ex ante and ex post inspections is higher under separation than under integration. This provides a rationale for the widespread institutional trend that has led to the separation of ex ante regulation from ex post prosecution. The robustness of this result is investigated in various extensions. Only when collusion is self-enforcing might it be possible that integration dominates separation.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4992.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4992
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  1. Faure-Grimaud Antoine & Laffont Jean-Jacques & Martimort David, 2003. "Risk Averse Supervisors and the Efficiency of Collusion," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
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  3. Ewerhart, Christian & Schmitz, Patrick W, 1998. "Ex Post Liability for Harm vs. Ex Ante Safety Regulation: Substitutes or Complements? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 1027, September.
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  6. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2004. "Modelling the choice between regulation and liability in terms of social welfare," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(3), pages 590-612, August.
  7. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 2000. "Incentives and Political Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198294245.
  8. David P. Baron & David Besanko, 1984. "Regulation, Asymmetric Information, and Auditing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 447-470, Winter.
  9. Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Martimort, David, 2003. " Regulatory Inertia," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(3), pages 413-37, Autumn.
  10. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-59, January.
  11. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Martimort, David, 1998. "Transaction costs, institutional design and the separation of powers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 673-684, May.
  12. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2000. "Law versus Regulation: A Political Economy Model of Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-57, CIRANO.
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