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Product Durability, Solid Waste Management and Market Structure

  • Marco Runkel

For a durable consumption good which turns into waste after consumption, the socially optimal durability increases with an increase in the marginal environmental damage. In a laissez-faire equilibrium under perfect competition, producers fail to provide an efficient product design, i.e. durability is inefficiently small, whereas the amount of solid waste is inefficiently large. The market failure is corrected simply by Pigouvian taxation which also can be interpreted as an extension of the producer responsibility. In the case of imperfect competition (oligopoly or monopoly) Pigouvian taxation indeed ensures an efficient durability but generally not an efficient amount of solid waste.

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Paper provided by Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht in its series Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge with number 78-99.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:sie:siegen:78-99
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  1. Muller, Eitan & Peles, Yoram C., 1990. "Optimal dynamic durability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 709-719, October.
  2. Dockner, Engelbert, 1988. "On the relation between dynamic oligopolistic competition and long-run competitive equilibrimn," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 47-64.
  3. Sieper, E & Swan, P L, 1973. "Monopoly and Competition in the Market for Durable Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 333-51, July.
  4. Highfill, Jannett & McAsey, Michael, 1997. "Municipal Waste Management: Recycling and Landfill Space Constraints," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 118-136, January.
  5. Benchekroun, Hassan & van Long, Ngo, 1998. "Efficiency inducing taxation for polluting oligopolists," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 325-342, November.
  6. Dinan Terry M., 1993. "Economic Efficiency Effects of Alternative Policies for Reducing Waste Disposal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 242-256, November.
  7. Ruffin, R J, 1971. "Cournot Oligopoly and Competitive Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(116), pages 493-502, October.
  8. Fullerton, Don & Wu, Wenbo, 1998. "Policies for Green Design," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 131-148, September.
  9. Schmalensee, Richard, 1979. "Market Structure, Durability, and Quality: A Selective Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(2), pages 177-96, April.
  10. Goering, Gregory E., 1992. "Oligopolies and product durability," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 55-63, March.
  11. Swan, Peter L, 1977. "Product Durability under Monopoly and Competition: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 229-35, January.
  12. Swan, Peter L, 1970. "Durability of Consumption Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 884-94, December.
  13. LaFrance, Jeffrey T. & Barney, L. Dwayne, 1991. "The envelope theorem in dynamic optimization," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 355-385, April.
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