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Informal Sector Pollution Control: What Policy Options Do We Have?

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  • Blackman, Allen

    () (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

In developing countries, urban clusters of informal firms such as brick kilns and leather tanneries can create severe pollution problems. However, these firms are quite difficult to regulate for a variety of technical and political reasons. Drawing on the literature, this paper first develops a list of feasible environmental management policies. It then examines how these policies have fared in four independent efforts to control emissions from informal brick kilns in northern Mexico. The case studies suggest that: (i) conventional command and control process standards are generally only enforceable when buttressed by peer monitoring, (ii) surprisingly, clean technologies can be successfully diffused even when they raise variable costs, in part because early adopters have an economic incentive to promote further adoption, (iii) boycotts of "dirty" goods sold in informal markets are unenforceable, (iv) well-organized informal firms can block implementation of costly abatement strategies such as relocation, and (v) private-sector-led initiatives may be best suited for informal sector pollution control.

Suggested Citation

  • Blackman, Allen, 1999. "Informal Sector Pollution Control: What Policy Options Do We Have?," Discussion Papers dp-00-02-rev, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-00-02-rev
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blackman, Allen & Shih, Jhih-Shyang & Evans, David & Batz, Michael & Newbold, Stephen & Cook, Joseph, 2006. "The benefits and costs of informal sector pollution control: Mexican brick kilns," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 603-627, October.
    2. Blackman, Allen & Bannister, Geoffrey, 1998. "Pollution Control in the Informal Sector: The Ciudad Juárez Brickmakers' Project," Discussion Papers dp-98-15, Resources For the Future.
    3. Blackman, Allen & Harrington, Winston, 1999. "The Use of Economic Incentives in Developing Countries: Lessons from International Experience with Industrial Air Pollution," Discussion Papers dp-99-39, Resources For the Future.
    4. Blackman, Allen & Bannister, Geoffrey J., 1998. "Community Pressure and Clean Technology in the Informal Sector: An Econometric Analysis of the Adoption of Propane by Traditional Mexican Brickmakers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-21, January.
    5. Eskeland, Gunnar S & Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1992. "Policy Instruments for Pollution Control in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 7(2), pages 145-169, July.
    6. Biller, Dan*DEC, 1994. "Informal gold mining and mercury pollution in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1304, The World Bank.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Timo Goeschl & Ole Jürgens, 2012. "Environmental quality and welfare effects of improving the reporting capability of citizen monitoring schemes," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 264-286, December.
    2. Elisa Giuliani, 2016. "Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries’ Industrial Clusters," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 133(1), pages 39-54, January.
    3. Eckert Heather L, 2006. "Public Complaints and Alberta's Environmental Regulation," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-25, October.
    4. Biswas, Amit K. & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Thum, Marcel, 2012. "Pollution, shadow economy and corruption: Theory and evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 114-125.
    5. repec:eee:jbvent:v:32:y:2017:i:4:p:420-442 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:hit:hitjcm:v:56:y:2015:i:1:p:73-91 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Webb, Justin W. & Bruton, Garry D. & Tihanyi, Laszlo & Ireland, R. Duane, 2013. "Research on entrepreneurship in the informal economy: Framing a research agenda," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 598-614.
    8. Blackman, Allen & Shih, Jhih-Shyang & Evans, David & Batz, Michael & Newbold, Stephen & Cook, Joseph, 2006. "The benefits and costs of informal sector pollution control: Mexican brick kilns," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 603-627, October.
    9. Kalim Shah & Jorge Rivera, 2013. "Do industry associations influence corporate environmentalism in developing countries? Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 46(1), pages 39-62, March.
    10. Baksi, Soham & Bose, Pinaki, 2016. "Informal sector, regulatory compliance, and leakage," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 166-176.
    11. Keith Brouhle & Charles Griffiths & Ann Wolverton, 2004. "The Use of Voluntary Approaches for Environmental Policymaking in the U.S," NCEE Working Paper Series 200405, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised May 2004.
    12. Gupta, Manash Ranjan & Barman, Trishita Ray, 2015. "Environmental Pollution, Informal Sector, Public Expenditure And Economic Growth," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 56(1), pages 73-91, June.
    13. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00560558 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2013. "Empowering neighbors versus imposing regulations: An experimental analysis of pollution reduction schemes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 469-484.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L68 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Appliances; Furniture; Other Consumer Durables

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