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Information Asymmetries, Uncertainties, and Cleanup Delays at Superfund Sites


  • Rausser, Gordon C.
  • Simon, Leo
  • Zhao, Jinhua


Superfund cleanup has been extremely slow. Traditional analysis has centered around reducing negotiation and litigation to expedite the cleanup process. We investigate other factors which provide possible incentives for delay, namely, discounting, risk aversion, and compensation for off-site damage. We find that liability share plays an essential role in PRPs' incentives to delay. Commonly adopted EPA strategies, such as negotiating with PRP steering committees and buying outde minimisPRPs, may also lead to delay. The paper also designs a Bayesian mechanism for information extraction, and finds that the lump-sum transfer mechanism is not always efficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Rausser, Gordon C. & Simon, Leo & Zhao, Jinhua, 1998. "Information Asymmetries, Uncertainties, and Cleanup Delays at Superfund Sites," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1256, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:1256

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    Cited by:

    1. Burda, Martin & Harding, Matthew, 2014. "Environmental Justice: Evidence from Superfund cleanup durations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 380-401.
    2. Rausser, Gordon C. & Simon, Leo K. & Zhao, Jinhua, 1999. "Cleanup delays at hazardous waste sites: an incomplete information game," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt2m01d1r0, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.

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