Environmental Economics

Choosing Environmental Policy: Comparing Instruments and Outcomes in the United States and Europe

The two distinct approaches to environmental policy include direct regulation—sometimes called “command and control” policies—and regulation by economic, or market-based incentives. This book compares the costs and outcomes of these approaches by examining realworld applications. Paired case studies from the United States and Europe contrast direct regulation on one side of the Atlantic with an incentive-based policy on the other. For example, Germany’s direct regulation of SO2 emissions is compared with an incentive approach in the U.S. Direct regulation of water pollution via the U.S. Clean Water Act is contrasted with Holland’s incentive-based fee system. Additional studies contrast solutions for eliminating leaded gasoline and reducing nitrogen oxide emissions, CFCs, and chlorinated solvents.
The caes presented were selected to allow the sharpest, most direct comparisons of direct regulation and incentive-based strategies. In practice, environmental policy is often a mix of both types of instruments. This investigation asks what kind of "blend" will yield the most effective policy? Are incentive instruments more efficient than regulatory ones? Do regulatory policies necessarily have higher administrative costs? Are incentive policies more difficult to monitor? Are firms more likely to oppose market-based instruments or traditional regulation?

  • Keywords

    Subject:
    2. Cost-Benefit and Cost Effectiveness Analysis
    4. Economic Incentives and Other Innovative Approaches
    2. Cost-Benefit and Cost Effectiveness Analysis - Incentives and Related Approaches
    4. Economic Incentives and Other Innovative Approaches - Pollution Fees/Charges/Taxes
    4. Economic Incentives and Other Innovative Approaches - Trading and Marketable Permits
    Environmental Media:
    a. Air
    b. Water
    a. Air - Mobile Source
    a. Air - Stationary Source
    b. Water - Surface
    Authors:
    Harrington, Winston
    Morgenstern, Richard D.
    Sterner, Thomas
    EPA Project Officer/ Manager:
    Korb, Barry
    Geographic Area:
    United States
    Study Purpose:
    Policy Evaluation
    Inventory Record #: PE-0016
  • Participating Organizations

    Research Organization:

    Resources for the FutureAddress:
    City: Washington State: DC ZIP: 20036
    Phone: Fax:
    E-mail:
    Funding Organization:
    Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, National Center for Environmental EconomicsAddress:
    City: State: ZIP:
    Phone: Fax:
    E-mail:
    Non-EPA Publishing Organization:
    Resources for the FutureAddress: 1616 P Street, NW
    City: Washington State: DC ZIP: 20036
    Phone: Fax:
    E-mail:
  • Report Details
    Type:
    Final
    Date:
    01/01/2004
    Number of Pages:
    295
    Comment:
    Grant/Contract #:
    R830443-01
  • How to Obtain Report


    Not available from EERM
    Other Ways to Obtain the Report:
    You can obtain this report by contacting Resources for the Future directly at:
    1616 P Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
    or go to the following WEB address:
    http://www.rff.org/rff/RFF_Press/CustomBookPages/Choosing-Environmental-Policy.cfm