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Efficiency of Nonpoint Source Pollution Instruments with Externality Among Polluters:An Experimental Study

  • François Cochard
  • Marc Willinger
  • Anastasios Xepapadeas

In nonpoint source pollution problems, the regulator does not observe each polluter’s individual emission, which prevents him from using the conventional policy instruments. Therefore new instruments have been designed to regulate this type of pollution. In an experiment, we compare the efficiency of some of these instruments: an input based tax, an ambient tax, and a group fine. We assume that the polluters themselves are affected by environmental damages. A control session without any regulation is also carried out in order to study the “status quo” situation. Our experimental data show that the input tax is almost perfectly efficient and very reliable, and the group fine is fairly efficient and reliable. Both instruments improve welfare with respect to the status quo. On the contrary, the ambient tax decreases social welfare with respect to the status quo, and its effect is very unreliable.

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Paper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2002-20.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2002-20
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  1. Marc WILLINGER & Anthony ZIEGELMEYER, 1999. "Framing and cooperation in public good games: an experiment with an interior solution," Working Papers of BETA 9901, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  2. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1991. "Environmental policy under imperfect information: Incentives and moral hazard," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 113-126, March.
  3. Horan, Richard D. & Shortle, James S. & Abler, David G., 1998. "Ambient Taxes When Polluters Have Multiple Choices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 186-199, September.
  4. Spraggon, John, 2002. "Exogenous targeting instruments as a solution to group moral hazards," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 427-456, June.
  5. John Spraggon, 2003. "Exogenous Targeting Instruments with Heterogeneous Agents," McMaster Experimental Economics Laboratory Publications 2003-02, McMaster University.
  6. James Shortle & David Abler & Richard Horan, 1998. "Research Issues in Nonpoint Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 571-585, April.
  7. Shortle, James S & Horan, Richard D, 2001. " The Economics of Nonprofit Pollution Control," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 255-89, July.
  8. Nalbantian, Haig R & Schotter, Andrew, 1997. "Productivity under Group Incentives: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 314-41, June.
  9. Plott, Charles R, 1983. "Externalities and Corrective Policies in Experimental Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369), pages 106-27, March.
  10. Millock, Katrin & Sunding, David & Zilberman, David, 2002. "Regulating Pollution with Endogenous Monitoring," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 221-241, September.
  11. James Andreoni, 1997. "Warm-glow versus cold-prickle: the effect of positive and negative framing on cooperation in experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 671, David K. Levine.
  12. Cabe, Richard & Herriges, Joseph A., 1992. "The Regulation of Non-Point Sources of Pollution Under Imperfect and Asymmetric Information," Staff General Research Papers 10787, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  13. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1995. "Observability and choice of instrument mix in the control of externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 485-498, March.
  14. David Kreps & Paul Milgrom & John Roberts & Bob Wilson, 2010. "Rational Cooperation in the Finitely Repeated Prisoners' Dilemma," Levine's Working Paper Archive 239, David K. Levine.
  15. Lars Hansen, 1998. "A Damage Based Tax Mechanism for Regulation of Non-Point Emissions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 99-112, July.
  16. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
  17. Park, Eun-Soo, 2000. "Warm-glow versus cold-prickle: a further experimental study of framing effects on free-riding," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 405-421, December.
  18. Cabe, Richard & Herriges, Joseph A., 1992. "The regulation of non-point-source pollution under imperfect and asymmetric information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 134-146, March.
  19. repec:att:wimass:9406 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Xepapadeas, A. P., 1992. "Environmental policy design and dynamic nonpoint-source pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 22-39, July.
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