IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Retroactive Liability and Future Risk: The Optimal Regulation of Underground Storage Tanks

Listed author(s):
  • Boyd, James


    (Resources for the Future)

  • Kunreuther, Howard

The optimal design of environmental liability policy focuses on two primary policy issues: the cleanup of existing sources of pollution and the definition and enforcement of policies to promote prospectively efficient environmental risk reduction. Through the analysis of a policy toward a pervasive environmental risk--leaking underground storage tanks--we analyze the effectiveness of an existing policy governing retroactive and prospective liability issues and suggest ways in which that policy can be improved. While we find some theoretical support for the public financing of UST cleanups, we also find the current system to be flawed in its implementation. In general, the paper argues that public financing of past pollution cleanup costs can lead to greater future risk deterrence by allowing firms to more fully internalize the costs of future environmental risks. However, if it is practically or politically impossible to limit public financing to retroactive liabilities alone, the deterrent effect of such a system is vastly reduced.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-96-02.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Oct 1995
Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-96-02
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Boyd, James & Ingberman, Daniel E, 1994. "Noncompensatory Damages and Potential Insolvency," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 895-910, June.
  2. Shavell, S., 1986. "The judgment proof problem," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 45-58, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-96-02. 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)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.