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Follow-the-leader? Measuring the internalisation of law

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Listed:
  • Shaun Larcom
  • Luca A. Panzone
  • Timothy Swanson

Abstract

Expressive law is said to induce compliance with stated principles without a price on non-compliance. We empirically assess this proposition, by attempting to disentangle the impacts of a legal change (a 5p charge on use of plastic bags), on individual choices. We do so by measuring both behaviours and attitudes across the first two months of the legal change, and by comparing the impacts across neighboring jurisdictions both with and without the change. Using mediation analysis, we find that the self-reported change in internal motivation explains only about 10% of the change in behaviour. Interestingly, we find that the scale of the sanction (charge) is both irrelevant (because jurisdictions without sanctions still exhibit changed behaviour) and important (because the size of the sanction signals the reasonableness of the law).

Suggested Citation

  • Shaun Larcom & Luca A. Panzone & Timothy Swanson, 2017. "Follow-the-leader? Measuring the internalisation of law," CIES Research Paper series 50-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:gii:ciesrp:cies_rp_50
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expressive law; internalisation of law; behavioural; signalling;

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • K1 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law
    • C4 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics

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