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Regulation of location-specific externalities

Author

Listed:
  • Eirik S. Amundsen

    () (Department of Economics, the University of Bergen
    Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Lars Gårn Hansen

    () (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Hans Jørgen Whitta-Jacobsen

    () (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

In this paper, we study regulation of externalities involving many small-scale polluters, where the damages from emissions depend on the polluters’ locations. Examples include nutrient and pesticide emissions from farms, particulate emissions from vehicles and home heating units, emissions of hazardous chemical compounds from small business etc. With such emission problems, regulatory authorities often apply a combination of firm-level, possibly differentiated standards for ‘cleaner’ technologies, and market-level, undifferentiated dirty input regulations. We establish general principles for how such regulations should be designed and combined. We find that the optimal regulation design crucially depends on the type of cleaner technologies available to polluters. If these are ‘emission capturing’, optimal technology standards encourage the use of cleaner technologies in both high and low damage areas, while if they are ‘input displacing’, optimal technology regulation encourages cleaner technologies in high damage areas, but discourages their use in low damage areas. Regulation should always discourage the use of dirty input and the optimal regulation intensity may be substantial, particularly if the available cleaner technologies are input displacing.

Suggested Citation

  • Eirik S. Amundsen & Lars Gårn Hansen & Hans Jørgen Whitta-Jacobsen, 2018. "Regulation of location-specific externalities," IFRO Working Paper 2018/11, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2018_11
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sengupta, Aditi, 2012. "Investment in cleaner technology and signaling distortions in a market with green consumers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 468-480.
    2. Line Hansen & Lars Hansen, 2014. "Can Non-point Phosphorus Emissions from Agriculture be Regulated Efficiently Using Input-Output Taxes?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 58(1), pages 109-125, May.
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    7. Holtermann, Sally, 1976. "Alternative Tax Systems to Correct for Externalities, and the Efficiency of Paying Compensation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(169), pages 1-16, February.
    8. Douglas M. Larson & Gloria E. Helfand & Brett W. House, 1996. "Second-Best Tax Policies to Reduce Nonpoint Source Pollution," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1108-1117.
    9. Klier, Thomas & Linn, Joshua, 2016. "The effect of vehicle fuel economy standards on technology adoption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 41-63.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Location-specific externalities; clean technologies; regulation; policy;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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