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Performance measurement in environmental management at the local level : an experiment and proposal with reference to Switzerland

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Abstract

This paper deals with the management of three environmental policies at the local level: clean water distribution, sewage and wastewater treatment and household solid waste collection and treatment. The argument is that applying the benefit principle for financing these services will enhance allocative efficiency, budget and environmental accountability, and contribute to induce environmental friendly attitude. The paper is organised in two parts. Because there is no fundamental seminal theory in environmental management, Part One summarizes the analytical foundations in combining three disciplines: political economy, law and environmental accounting. The original contribution of the paper is to mix them in a coherent process which also corresponds to the Directives 2000/60 and 2008/98 of the European Parliament in the fields of water policy and solid waste. Part Two develops a possible technique for defining and measuring the performance in order to assess the feasibility of our proposal. The data cover the 168 communes of the Canton Fribourg for the 1996-2009 period. The tested hypothesis is that the cost coverage ratio is an accurate measure of performance in the management of the selected environmental functions. But for accuracy - thus for improvement in policy implementation and practices - the test requires an in-depth command of the real situations because available data need to be treated before measurement. With the proposed procedure, the results verify efficiency in production, full information and no strategic behaviour from economic agents and politicians, and managerial accountability.

Suggested Citation

  • Dafflon, Bernard & Daguet, Sandra, 2012. "Performance measurement in environmental management at the local level : an experiment and proposal with reference to Switzerland," FSES Working Papers 425, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fri:fribow:fribow00425
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    Keywords

    benefit principle of taxation ; environmental accounting ; environmental legislation ; environmental policy ; environmental taxation ; polluter-pays principle ; user charges ; user-pays principle ; performance analysis in environmental management;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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