Environmental quality and welfare effects of improving the reporting capability of citizen monitoring schemes
- 1.1k Downloads
Public participation in environmental monitoring to alert regulators to possible non-compliance events has been credited with improving environmental quality and regulatory efficiency. At the same time, the reporting capability of such citizen monitoring schemes is known to be limited due to technical and organizational deficiencies. Recent enthusiasm for outside interventions that address these deficiencies in order to lower environmental harm and raise overall welfare therefore seems justified. A game-theoretic analysis of a monitoring and enforcement regime with citizen monitoring shows, however, that the effects of such interventions are likely to be subtle. A higher reporting capability of citizens involves substitution effects that have ambiguous effects on the regulator’s monitoring and enforcement costs: Welfare can actually decline and environmental improvements will fall short of expectations. In an extreme scenario we show that improved citizen monitoring can even have adverse effects on environmental quality.
KeywordsEnvironmental regulation Citizen monitoring Sampling technology
JEL ClassificationD82 K42 Q53
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Afsah, S., Laplante, B., & Wheeler, D. (1996). Controlling industrial pollution: A new paradigm. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 1672.Google Scholar
- Aumann, R. J., & Shapley, L. S. (1992). Long-term competition—a game-theoretic analysis. Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and University of California at Los Angeles, WP-676.Google Scholar
- Dasgupta, S., & Wheeler, D. (1996). Citizen complaints as environmental indicators: Evidence form China. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 1704.Google Scholar
- Dasgupta, S., Laplante, B., Mamingi, N., & Wang, H. (2000). Industrial environmental performance in China: The impact of inspections. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2285.Google Scholar
- Eckert, H. L. (2006). Public complaints and Alberta’s environmental regulation. Topics in Economic Analysis and Policy, 6(1), Article 20.Google Scholar
- Escobar, N., & Chávez, C. (2010). Monitoring, firms’ compliance, and imposition of fines: Evidence from the federal industrial inspection program in Mexico city. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
- Goeschl, T., & Jürgens, O. (2012). Explaining uniformity in rule design: The role of citizen participation in enforcement. International Review of Law and Economics. doi: 10.1016/j.irle.2011.12.002.
- Hartman, R. S., Huq, M., & Wheeler, D. (1997). Why paper mills clean up: Determinants of pollution abatement in four Asian countries. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 1710.Google Scholar
- Overdevest C., Mayer B. (2008) Harnessing the power of information through community monitoring: Insights from social science. Texas Law Review 86(7): 1493–1526Google Scholar
- Takáts, E. (2009). A theory of “Crying Wolf”: The economics of money laundering enforcement. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization. doi: 10.1093/jleo/ewp018.
- Thompson B. H. Jr. (2000) The continuing innovation of citizen enforcement. University of Illinois Law Review 2000(1): 185–236Google Scholar
- Tietenberg T., Wheeler D. (2001) Empowering the community: Information strategies for pollution control. In: Folmer H., Landel Gabel H., Gerking S., Rose A. (eds) Frontiers of environmental economics. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Northampton, MAGoogle Scholar