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Environmental Regulation in the Presence of an Informal Sector

Author

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  • Soham Baksi
  • Pinaki Bose

Abstract

We analyze the efficacy of environmental regulation in the presence of an endogenous informal sector. Firms in an imperfectly competitive formal sector produce a final good using a polluting intermediate good. The firms can either produce the intermediate good or purchase it from a price-taking informal sector. An environmental regulator sets the emission intensity of the intermediate good that all formal sector firms implement honestly but informal sector firms seek, and are sometimes able, to evade. We show that, depending on the stringency of the regulation and its enforcement, the informal sector can act as a source of pollution leakage. Stricter regulation can increase (when the “composition effect” of regulation dominates its “scale effect”) or decrease total pollution, and may even have a non-monotonic impact. Further, price discrimination by the formal sector, when it purchases the intermediate good from the informal sector, can worsen regulatory compliance by the informal sector and lead to lower welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Soham Baksi & Pinaki Bose, 2010. "Environmental Regulation in the Presence of an Informal Sector," Departmental Working Papers 2010-03, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:win:winwop:2010-03
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    Cited by:

    1. Goel, Rajeev K. & Saunoris, James W., 2020. "Spatial spillovers of pollution onto the underground sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    2. Elgin, Ceyhun & Oztunali, Oguz, 2014. "Pollution and informal economy," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 333-349.
    3. Biswas, Amit K. & Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Thum, Marcel, 2012. "Pollution, shadow economy and corruption: Theory and evidence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 114-125.
    4. Canh, Nguyen Phuc & Schinckus, Christophe & Thanh, Su Dinh & Chong, Felicia Hui Ling, 2021. "The determinants of the energy consumption: A shadow economy-based perspective," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 225(C).
    5. Ummad Mazhar & Ceyhun Elgin, 2013. "Environmental Regulation, Pollution and the Informal Economy," SBP Research Bulletin, State Bank of Pakistan, Research Department, vol. 9, pages 62-81.
    6. Mehdi Abid, 2016. "Size and Implication of Informal Economy in African Countries: Evidence from a Structural Model," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 571-598, October.
    7. Sudeshna Chattopadhyay & Sarmila Banerjee & Katrin Millock, 2010. "Pollution Control Instruments in the Presence of an Informal Sector," Post-Print halshs-00560558, HAL.
    8. Cong Minh Huynh, 2020. "Shadow economy and air pollution in developing Asia: what is the role of fiscal policy?," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 22(3), pages 357-381, July.
    9. Zhimin Zhou, 2019. "The Underground Economy and Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 ) Emissions in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(10), pages 1-20, May.
    10. Ceyhun Elgin & Oğuz Öztunalı, 2014. "Environmental Kuznets Curve for the Informal Sector of Turkey (1950-2009)," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 61(4), pages 471-485, September.
    11. Goel, Rajeev K. & Herrala, Risto & Mazhar, Ummad, 2013. "Institutional quality and environmental pollution: MENA countries versus the rest of the world," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 508-521.
    12. Mehdi Abid, 2019. "Estimating the Size of the Informal Trade Across the World: Evidence from a MIMIC Approach," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 10(2), pages 618-669, June.
    13. Nguyen Phuc Canh & Su Dinh Thanh & Christophe Schinckus & Jo Bensemann & Lai Trung Thanh, 2019. "Global Emissions: A New Contribution from the Shadow Economy," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 9(3), pages 320-337.
    14. Hbib Sekrafi & Asma Sghaier, 2018. "Examining the Relationship Between Corruption, Economic Growth, Environmental Degradation, and Energy Consumption: a Panel Analysis in MENA Region," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 9(3), pages 963-979, September.
    15. GOMADO, Kwamivi Mawuli, 2018. "Diversité ethnique et déforestation dans les pays en développement: identification des principaux canaux [Ethnic diversity and deforestation in developing countries: identifying the transmission ch," MPRA Paper 89380, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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