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Pollution Abatement Investment When Firms Lobby Against Environmental Regulation

Author

Listed:
  • Y. Hossein Farzin

    (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California)

  • Jinhua Zhao

    (Department of Economics, Iowa State University)

Abstract

In this paper, we study a firm’s optimal lobby behavior and its effect on investment in pollution abatement capital. We develop a dynamic framework where a representative firm can invest in both abatement and lobby capital in response to a possible future increase in pollution tax. We show that when the firm lobbies against the scale of the tax increase at a predetermined date, it should act like an occasional lobbyer by investing a lump-sum (optimal) amount in the lobby capital only at that date. But, to delay the new tax, it should act like a habitual lobbyer by investing continuously and at increasing rates over an optimal time period. We show that lobby expenditure crowds out investment in abatement capital and that this effect is stronger the more efficient is the lobbying activity. Further, we show that while uncertainty about the magnitude of the tax reduces the firm’s incentive to lobby, uncertainty about the timing of the new tax increases it.

Suggested Citation

  • Y. Hossein Farzin & Jinhua Zhao, 2003. "Pollution Abatement Investment When Firms Lobby Against Environmental Regulation," Working Papers 2003.82, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.82
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    File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/Publication/NDL2003/NDL2003-082.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fredriksson, Per G & Gaston, Noel, 2000. "Environmental Governance in Federal Systems: The Effects of Capital Competition and Lobby Groups," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(3), pages 501-514, July.
    2. Farzin, Y H & Kort, P M, 2000. " Pollution Abatement Investment When Environmental Regulation Is Uncertain," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(2), pages 183-212.
    3. Persson, Torsten, 1998. "Economic Policy and Special Interest Politics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 310-327, March.
    4. Bartsch, Elga & Thomas, Ingo P. & Rauscher, Michael, 1993. "Environmental legislation and the impact of lobbying activities," Kiel Working Papers 562, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
    6. Becker, Gary S., 1985. "Public policies, pressure groups, and dead weight costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 329-347, December.
    7. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    8. Michaelis, Peter, 1994. "Regulate us, please!: On strategic lobbying in cournot-nash oligopoly," Kiel Working Papers 626, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    9. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 752-769, August.
    10. Schleich, Joachim & Orden, David, 2000. "Environmental Quality and Industry Protection with Noncooperative versus Cooperative Domestic and Trade Policies," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 681-697, November.
    11. Fredriksson, Per G., 1997. "The Political Economy of Pollution Taxes in a Small Open Economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 44-58, May.
    12. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
    13. Morck, Randall & Sepanski, Jungsywan & Yeung, Bernard, 2001. "Habitual and Occasional Lobbyers in the U.S. Steel Industry: An EM Algorithm Pooling Approach," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 365-378, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Victoria I Mumanskaya & Charles F Mason & Edward B Barbier, 2012. "Trade, Transboundary, Pollution, and Foreign Lobbying," OxCarre Working Papers 071, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    2. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy, 2015. "Tax Uniformity: A Commitment Device for Restraining Opportunistic Behavior," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(5), pages 641-672, October.
    3. Puller, Steven L., 2006. "The strategic use of innovation to influence regulatory standards," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 690-706, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pollution Abatement; Environmental Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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