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Landfill Diversion in a Decentralized Setting: a Dynamic Assessment of Landfill Taxes

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  • Massimiliano Mazzanti

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  • Francesco Nicolli

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Abstract

We analyse the process of landfill diversion and separated collection, two pillars of a waste related performance in a country, by embedding the dynamics in a frame where economic, geographical and policy variables enter the arena. We aim at investigating in depth what main drivers may be responsible for such a phenomenon. In addition to structural and economic drivers we primarily investigate the role of landfill taxes. Notwithstanding the Italian landfill tax dates back to 1996, there is a lack of effectiveness assessment, which primarily derives from the absence of a full coherent dataset covering all regions. In fact, the implementation is delegated to each region, a case study of real decentralisation, and the opposite for example of the UK situation, where the tax is set and administered by the Treasury. We first provide a descriptive analysis of the regional trends over the years on the basis of an original landfill tax dataset covering all Italy that we constructed through a scrutiny of regional bills, and web and telephone contacts. We exploit this peculiar and original aggregation of tax related information to test whether the tax has been effective in supporting landfill diversion. We test the hypothesis on the basis of an integrated dataset that merges economic, waste, policy variables together, at regional level and over the period 1999-2008. We check for results sensitivity the effect of the landfill regional tax by using provincial dataset over the same period. Panel regressions show that the effect of tax is significant, complementary to structural factors, population density and related opportunity cost among others. Spatial effects seem instead negligible. This is the first evidence on a large panel dataset that introducing and increasing landfill taxes over time is an effective way to cope with waste disposal. Regions that have increased such taxes over time have achieved better waste disposal performances. Landfill taxes are not the only instrument but they show to a relevant ‘must have’ in the policy package.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli, 2012. "Landfill Diversion in a Decentralized Setting: a Dynamic Assessment of Landfill Taxes," Working Papers 201205, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:udf:wpaper:201205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alessio D'Amato & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli, 2011. "Waste Sustainability, Environmental Management and Mafia: Analysing Geographical and Economic Dimensions," CEIS Research Paper 213, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 24 Oct 2011.
    2. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Anna Montini & Francesco Nicolli, 2011. "Embedding landfill diversion in economic, geographical and policy settings," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(24), pages 3299-3311.
    3. Stern, David I., 2004. "The Rise and Fall of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1419-1439, August.
    4. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 2002. "Polarization, Politics and Property Rights: Links between Inequality and Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(1-2), pages 127-154, March.
    5. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Roberto Zoboli, 2008. "Waste Generation, Incineration and Landfill Diversion. De-coupling Trends, Socio-Economic Drivers and Policy Effectiveness in the EU," Working Papers 2008.94, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. William Easterly & Jozef Ritzen & Michael Woolcock, 2006. "Social Cohesion, Institutions, And Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 103-120, July.
    7. Susmita Dasgupta & Ashoka Mody & Subhendu Roy & David Wheeler, 2001. "Environmental Regulation and Development: A Cross-country Empirical Analysis," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 173-187.
    8. Adrian Martin & Ian Scott, 2003. "The Effectiveness of the UK Landfill Tax," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(5), pages 673-689.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli & Dario Biolcati Rinaldi, 2012. "Multi-Tasking in the Waste Realm.Theoretical and Empirical Insights on Management and Disposal Performances," EuroEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 5(31), pages 88-101, December.
    2. Cecere, Grazia & Mancinelli, Susanna & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2014. "Waste prevention and social preferences: the role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 163-176.
    3. Cainelli, Giulio & D’Amato, Alessio & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2015. "Adoption of waste-reducing technology in manufacturing: Regional factors and policy issues," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 53-67.
    4. Davide Antonioli & Simone Borghesi & Alessio D'Amato & Marianna Gilli & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli, 2014. "Analysing the Interactions of Energy and climate policies in a broad Policy ‘optimality’ framework. The Italian case study," SEEDS Working Papers 2514, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Aug 2014.
    5. Tomas Ekvall & Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers & Fabio Eboli & Aleksander Śniegocki, 2016. "A Systemic and Systematic Approach to the Development of a Policy Mix for Material Resource Efficiency," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-26, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Landfill Taxes; Landfill Diversion; Recycling; Decentralized Policy; Regional Performance;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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