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The Organization of Local Solid Waste and Recycling Markets: Public and Private Provision of Services

Author

Listed:
  • Macauley, Molly

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Walls, Margaret

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Anderson, Soren

Abstract

We study determinants of market organization of local public services by an empiricalexamination of one of the most visible municipal services, residential waste management. Usinga multinomial logit model and data for 1,000 U.S. communities, we explore the effect of politicalinfluence, voter ideology, environmental constraints, production costs (i.e., “economies ofdensity”), and contracting transaction costs on a community’s choice of market arrangement forwaste collection and recycling. We find that cost factors are a significant determinant of servicedelivery method. In contrast, few of the political variables are statistically significant. Theseresults hold for our models of both waste and recycling, lending further evidence to theconclusion that local governments emphasize costs when choosing between private and publicprovision.

Suggested Citation

  • Macauley, Molly & Walls, Margaret & Anderson, Soren, 2002. "The Organization of Local Solid Waste and Recycling Markets: Public and Private Provision of Services," Discussion Papers dp-02-35-rev, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-02-35-rev
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-02-35Rev.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Kinnaman, Thomas C. & Fullerton, Don, 2000. "Garbage and Recycling with Endogenous Local Policy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 419-442, November.
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    4. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
    5. Dubin, Jeffrey A & Navarro, Peter, 1988. "How Markets for Impure Public Goods Organize: The Case of Household Refuse Collection," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 217-241, Fall.
    6. Nelson, Michael A, 1997. "Municipal Government Approaches to Service Delivery: An Analysis from a Transactions Cost Perspective," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 82-96, January.
    7. Williamson, Oliver E, 1999. "Public and Private Bureaucracies: A Transaction Cost Economics Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 306-342, April.
    8. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-1161.
    9. Wayne Carroll, 1995. "The Organization and Efficiency of Residential Recycling Services," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 215-225, Spring.
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    13. repec:hrv:faseco:30727607 is not listed on IDEAS
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    15. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    Cited by:

    1. Calcott, Paul & Walls, Margaret, 2005. "Waste, recycling, and "Design for Environment": Roles for markets and policy instruments," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 287-305, November.
    2. Massarutto, Antonio, 2007. "Municipal waste management as a local utility: Options for competition in an environmentally-regulated industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 9-19, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Market organization; solid waste management; state and local government;

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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