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Garbage and Recycling in Communities with Curbside Recycling and Unit-Based Pricing

  • Thomas C. Kinnaman
  • Don Fullerton

This paper estimates the impact of a user fee and a curbside recycling program on garbage and recycling amounts, allowing for the possibility of endogenous policy choices. Previous estimates of the effects of these policies could be biased if unobserved variables such as local preference for the environment jointly impact the probability of implementing these policies and the levels of garbage and recycling collected in the community. A simple sequential model of local policymaking is estimated using original data gathered from a large cross-section of communities with user fees, combined with an even larger cross-section of towns without user fees but with and without curbside recycling programs. The combined data set is larger and more comprehensive than any used in previous studies. Without correction for endogenous policy, the price per unit of garbage collection has a negative effect on garbage and a positive cross-price effect on recycling. When we correct for endogenous policy, then the effect of the user fee on garbage increases, and the significance of the cross-price effect on recycling disappears.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6021.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6021.

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Date of creation: Apr 1997
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Publication status: published as as "Garbage and Recycling with Endogenous Local Policy" Journal of Urban Economics, Volume: 48 Issue: 3 (November 2000) Pages: 419-442
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6021
Note: PE
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  1. Fullerton Don & Kinnaman Thomas C., 1995. "Garbage, Recycling, and Illicit Burning or Dumping," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 78-91, July.
  2. Marie Lynn Miranda & Jess W. Everett & Daniel Blume & Barbeau A. Roy, 1994. "Market-based incentives and residential municipal solid waste," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 681-698.
  3. Fullerton, Don & Kinnaman, Thomas C, 1996. "Household Responses to Pricing Garbage by the Bag," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 971-84, September.
  4. Richardson, Robert A. & Havlicek, Joseph Jr., 1978. "Economic analysis of the composition of household solid wastes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 103-111, March.
  5. G. Strathman & Anthony M. Rufolo & Gerard C. S. Mildner, 1995. "The Demand for Solid Waste Disposal," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(1), pages 57-64.
  6. James D. Reschovsky & Sarah E. Stone, 1994. "Market incentives to encourage household waste recycling: Paying for what you throw away," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 120-139.
  7. Robin R. Jenkins, 1993. "The Economics Of Solid Waste Reduction," Books, Edward Elgar, number 248, July.
  8. Hong Seonghoon & Adams Richard M. & Love H. Alan, 1993. "An Economic Analysis of Household Recycling of Solid Wastes: The Case of Portland, Oregon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 136-146, September.
  9. Poirier, Dale J. & Ruud, Paul A., 1981. "On the appropriateness of endogenous switching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 249-256, June.
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