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Economic Incentives for Pollution Control

Numerous economic incentives have been used in environmental management in foreign countries, including several mechanisms little known in the United States. Although a detailed description and assessment of each of these incentives is beyond the scope of this report, this Section does contain an overview of charges, deposit-refund systems, subsidies, product labeling schemes, and market-based permit systems used as environmental policy instruments in foreign countries to provide perspective on the U.S. experience. While this Section in general does not include incentive mechanisms that have been proposed but not implemented, it does describe a few proposals whose acceptance appears imminent. The incentives are described under the same general headings as in earlier sections.

Table 11-1 highlights a few noteworthy incentive mechanisms used in foreign countries. This report does not endorse any of these mechanisms. They are included in the table because they appear to either differ significantly from incentives used in the United States or have significant impacts on behavior. More information on these and other incentives used outside the United States can be found in the rest of this Section.

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