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American Journal of Criminal Justice

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 530–550 | Cite as

Monetary Penalties and Noncompliance with Environmental Laws: a Mediation Analysis

  • Kimberly L. Barrett
  • Michael J. Lynch
  • Michael A. Long
  • Paul B. Stretesky
Article

Abstract

Studies that assess the impact of monetary penalties on environmental compliance have yielded mixed results. While some studies suggest fines deter future violations other studies find that fines do little to encourage compliance. This longitudinal study examines the impact of the dollar amount of fines on compliance with environmental laws among major facilities in the state of Michigan (n = 37). Results from a mediation analysis suggest that while noncompliance may slightly decrease immediately following a fine there are few changes to a firm’s long term compliance behavior. Furthermore, analyses of these data suggest that total fines levied prior to the most recent fine actually have a positive relationship with noncompliance. We suggest these results imply a decaying effect of deterrence that is perhaps connected to the organizational structure of the treadmill of production.

Keywords

Green criminology Environmental crime Corporate crime White collar crime Deterrence theory 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Previous versions of this manuscript were presented at the American Society of Criminology 2016 Annual Meeting and the 2017 EcoJustice and Activism Conference. We are grateful for the participants and their comments.

Funding Statement

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Copyright information

© Southern Criminal Justice Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly L. Barrett
    • 1
  • Michael J. Lynch
    • 2
  • Michael A. Long
    • 3
  • Paul B. Stretesky
    • 4
  1. 1.Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology DepartmentEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA
  2. 2.Department of CriminologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  4. 4.Department of Social Sciences and LanguagesNorthumbria UniversityNewcastleUK

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