IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Implementation of Policy Instruments for Chlorinated Solvents: A Comparison of Design Standards, Bans, and Taxes to Phase Out Trichloroethylene


  • Sterner, Thomas
  • Slunge, Daniel


This paper studies the Swedish prohibition of the hazardous solvent Trichloroethylene (TCE). Sweden is alone in completely prohibiting its use. The ban has been at best a partial success and illustrates the dilemmas of policymaking. Use has declined but not stopped, largely because the decision to ban TCE was challenged in the courts. Recently, the EU Court of Justice decided in favor of Sweden’s right to have a ban. This article analyzes abatement cost data to show that the cost of replacing TCE is low for most plants, although there appear to be a few firms for which it may be quite high. A crosscountry comparison indicates that the Swedish ban was less effective than the very strict technical requirements in Germany or the tax used in Norway. A tax (or deposit refund scheme) would be a good mechanism to achieve a swift phaseout.

Suggested Citation

  • Sterner, Thomas & Slunge, Daniel, 2001. "Implementation of Policy Instruments for Chlorinated Solvents: A Comparison of Design Standards, Bans, and Taxes to Phase Out Trichloroethylene," Discussion Papers dp-01-32, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-01-32

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
    2. Dario Bonato & Armin Schmutzler, 2000. "When do Finns Benefit from Environmental Regulations? A Simple Microeconomic Approach to the Porter Controversy," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(IV), pages 513-530, December.
    3. Seema Arora & Timothy N. Cason, 1996. "Why Do Firms Volunteer to Exceed Environmental Regulations? Understanding Participation in EPA's 33/50 Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(4), pages 413-432.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Birkenfeld, Florian & Gastl, Daniel & Heblich, Stephan & Lienert, Ferry & Maergoyz, Mascha & Mont, Oksana & Plepys, Andrius, 2005. "Product ban versus risk management by setting emission and technology requirements: The effect of different regulatory schemes taking the use of trichloroethylene in Sweden and Germany as an example," Passauer Diskussionspapiere, Volkswirtschaftliche Reihe V-37-05, University of Passau, Faculty of Business and Economics.

    More about this item


    hazardous chemicals; regulation; environmental tax; solvents;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:rff:dpaper:dp-01-32. 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: (Webmaster). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.