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Pollution Abatement Investment When Firms Lobby Against Environmental Regulation

  • Y. Hossein Farzin

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

  • Jinhua Zhao

    (Department of Economics, Iowa State University)

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.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2003.82.

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Date of creation: Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2003.82
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  1. 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.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  3. Becker, Gary S., 1985. "Public policies, pressure groups, and dead weight costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 329-347, December.
  4. 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 365-78, July.
  5. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Scholarly Articles 3450061, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Persson, Torsten, 1998. "Economic Policy and Special Interest Politics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 310-27, March.
  7. 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 501-14, July.
  8. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-84064 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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 681-97, November.
  10. 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.
  11. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  12. Bartsch, Elga & Thomas, Ingo & Rauscher, Michael, 1993. "Environmental legislation and the impact of lobbying activities," Kiel Working Papers 562, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  13. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
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