IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/oec/itfaaa/2008-2-en.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Design of Effective Regulations of Transport

Author

Listed:
  • Winston Harrington

Abstract

This paper will trace the development of modern regulation of emissions, both local and global, from motor vehicles. To illuminate the principal themes of this story the focus will be on the experiences of the United States and Europe. Among those themes, three stand out, questions that sooner or later must be considered in the development of any environmental policy. First, the theme of federalism. In every country, governments are constituted at various levels of aggregation, from local to national. Which level of government is the most suitable for attacking a given public problem. If different levels of government can fairly claim to have a role in addressing the problem, how will the various responsibilities be assigned and coordinated? In order to develop an effective and efficient public policy, the governments must have both the right incentives and the capacity to do so. Finding the right level of government to address an environmental problem is a tradeoff between two competing considerations. The government’s jurisdiction must be large enough to “internalize the externalities,” as an economist would say. That is, if either the environmental evil or the policy remedy has effects that extend beyond its borders, then the policy-maker’s incentives will very likely be inappropriate. For example, policies to control emissions of stationary-source air pollutants may not be stringent enough if most of the effects of pollution are experienced in neighboring jurisdictions. At the same time, the level of government must be appropriate to the problem. Smaller, more local units of government are more likely to know the preferences of their citizens, yet less likely to have the expertise and experience to deal effectively with particular problems. The second pervasive theme here is the choice of policy instrument: the specific mechanisms used to achieve the environmental objective. It is common to pose two polar types: direct regulation and economic incentives (EI). Rather than commands or requirements, EI instruments provide penalties or rewards to encourage behavior that will improve environmental quality. Another way of putting the difference is this: With direct regulation, there is a bright line that determines whether behavior will be tolerated. With EI, the relationship between performance and consequences is continuous and gradual. There is no bright line, just steadily increasing rewards for better performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Winston Harrington, 2008. "The Design of Effective Regulations of Transport," OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers 2008/2, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:itfaaa:2008/2-en
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/235552611237
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Farrell, Alexander & Sperling, Daniel, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5245b5kx, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    2. Marland, Gregg & Schlamadinger, Bernhard, 1995. "Biomass fuels and forest-management strategies: How do we calculate the greenhouse-gas emissions benefits?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 20(11), pages 1131-1140.
    3. Nemet, Gregory F. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2007. "U.S. energy research and development: Declining investment, increasing need, and the feasibility of expansion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 746-755, January.
    4. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Dan, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt6j67z9w6, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    5. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Daniel & Brandt, A.R. & Eggert, A. & Farrell, A.E. & Haya, B.K. & Hughes, J. & Jenkins, B.M. & Jones, A.D. & Kammen, D.M. & Knittel, C.R. & Melaina, M.W. & O'Hare, M., 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California Part 2: Policy Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt1hm6k089, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    6. Delucchi, Mark, 2004. "Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Lifecycle Analyses of Transportation Fuels," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8n77n6z7, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    7. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Daniel & Arons, S.M. & Brandt, A.R. & Delucchi, M.A. & Eggert, A. & Farrell, A.E. & Haya, B.K. & Hughes, J. & Jenkins, B.M. & Jones, A.D. & Kammen, D.M. & Kaffka, S.R, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt8zm8d3wj, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    8. Turner, Brian T. & Plevin, Richard J. & O'Hare, Michael & Farrell, Alexander E., 2007. "Creating Markets for Green Biofuels: Measuring and improving environmental performance," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt0mm0m9xm, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Barla, Philippe & Proost, Stef, 2012. "Energy efficiency policy in a non-cooperative world," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2209-2215.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:itfaaa:2008/2-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/itoecfr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.