Governance and Performance: Theory-Based Evidence from US Coast Guard Inspections
Given three stylized facts about the US Coast Guard (USCG), namely, soft penalties for safety violations, low incidence of penalties relative to the number of violations, and substantial resources devoted to inspections of vessels, this paper seeks (i) a theoretical lens to view USCG activities and (ii) an empirical assessment of whether those activities improve performance. Harrington’s (1988) model is motivated by these stylized facts about US regulation in general, and provides a solution via targeting of good and poor performers. The model generates hypotheses about optimal regulation in the context of pollution prevention activities of the USCG. An organization-level panel data set consisting of thousands of US flag tank barges is constructed to test those hypotheses. A count model that controls for vessel heterogeneity yields mixed evidence. If USCG inspections are considered exogenous variables (as the theory presumes), they appear to prevent pollution spills. But if inspections are endogenous and respond to previous spills then correcting for endogeneity reverses the earlier result. In addition, violations are found to be good predictors of pollution occurrences, suggesting that inspections are not as effective as they could be. Targeting as in Harrington’s model therefore appears to be incomplete, and the findings suggest that more complete targeting could increase performance. An interesting finding is that stronger penalties could increase performance.
|Date of creation:||03 May 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||Type of Document - pdf; pages: 38. Forthcoming in Policy Studies Journal|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gray, Wayne B. & Deily, Mary E., 1996. "Compliance and Enforcement: Air Pollution Regulation in the U.S. Steel Industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 96-111, July.
- Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
- Magat, Wesley A & Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Effectiveness of the EPA's Regulatory Enforcement: The Case of Industrial Effluent Standards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 331-60, October.
- Epple, Dennis & Visscher, Michael, 1984. "Environmental Pollution: Modeling Occurrence, Detection, and Deterrence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 29-60, April.
- Cohen, Mark A, 1987. "Optimal Enforcement Strategy to Prevent Oil Spills: An Application of a Principal-Agent Model with Moral Hazard," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 23-51, April.
- Dietrich Earnhart, 2004. "Panel Data Analysis of Regulatory Factors Shaping Environmental Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 391-401, February.
- Raymond, Mark, 1999. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted: a reconsideration under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 289-295, August.
- Montserrat Grau & Theodore Groves, 1997. "The Oil Spill Process: The Effect of Coast Guard Monitoring on Oil Spills," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(4), pages 315-339, December.
- Harford, Jon D. & Harrington, Winston, 1991. "A reconsideration of enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 391-395, August.
- McKenna, C.J. & Livernois, J., 1996. "Truth or Consequences? Enforcing Pollution Standards," Working Papers 1996-7, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
- Gurmu, Shiferaw & Trivedi, Pravin K, 1996. "Excess Zeros in Count Models for Recreational Trips," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(4), pages 469-77, October.
- Eric E. Anderson & Wayne K. Talley, 1995. "The Oil Spill Size of Tanker and Barge Accidents: Determinants and Policy Implications," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(2), pages 216-228.
- Kishore Gawande & Timothy Wheeler, 1999. "Measures of Effectiveness for Governmental Organizations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(1), pages 42-58, January.
- Landsberger, Michael & Meilijson, Isaac, 1982. "Incentive generating state dependent penalty system : The case of income tax evasion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 333-352, December.
- Livernois, John & McKenna, C. J., 1999. "Truth or consequences: Enforcing pollution standards with self-reporting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 415-440, March.
- Steven Shavell, 1979. "Risk Sharing and Incentives in the Principal and Agent Relationship," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 55-73, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0505002. 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: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.