IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Cross-Border Environmental Management and the Informal Sector: The Ciudad Juarez Brickmakers' Project


  • Blackman, Allen

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Bannister, Geoffrey


The considerable difficulties associated with cross-border environmental management are compounded when polluters are unlicensed micro-enterprises such as auto repair shops and traditional brick kilns; such "informal sector" firms are virtually impossible to regulate in the conventional manner. This paper describes an example of an innovative and promising approach to the problem: the Ciudad Juárez Brickmakers' Project, a private-sector-led, binational initiative aimed at abating highly polluting emissions from Ciudad Juárez's approximately 350 informal brick kilns. We draw three lessons from the Project's history. First, private-sector-led cross-border initiatives can work indeed they may be more effective than public sector initiatives but they require strong public sector support. Second, necessary conditions for effective environmental management in the informal sector include enlisting the cooperation of local unions and political organizations, relying upon peer monitoring among informal firms, and providing inducements to offset compliance costs. Ineffective strategies include promoting too-advanced and therefore inappropriate technologies and intervening in informal markets. And finally, the history of the Brickmakers' Project suggests that, in volatile developing economies, even well designed voluntary market-based environmental initiatives in the informal sector are bound to be fragile.

Suggested Citation

  • Blackman, Allen & Bannister, Geoffrey, 1996. "Cross-Border Environmental Management and the Informal Sector: The Ciudad Juarez Brickmakers' Project," Discussion Papers dp-96-22, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-96-22

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barnes, Douglas F, et al, 1993. "The Design and Diffusion of Improved Cooking Stoves," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 119-141, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    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-96-22. 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.