Essays in public economics: Reduction of pollution through enforcement of emissions limits and reduction of household energy use
Опубликовано на портале: 29-03-2004Madison, 2001
The University of Wisconsin- Madison (University of Wisconsin- Madison)
|Тематические разделы:||Экономика, Экономика общественного сектора|
This dissertation consists of two essays that examine potential ways to reduce pollution through economic incentives. The first essay uses plant-level data to examine the effects of inspections and enforcement actions on compliance with water pollution permits by plants in the pulp and paper industry. Unlike studies using data from earlier time periods, this paper finds that previous inspections have only small effects on current compliance. However, when the effects of different types of inspections are examined, non-routine inspections are found to lead to a lower rate of violation. In order to determine whether inspections affect compliance only through the threat of subsequent enforcement actions or whether they have a direct effect on compliance, a two-stage model of enforcement and compliance is estimated. The results show that plants more likely to face enforcement for violations are less likely to be in violation, suggesting that the threat of enforcement actions is an effective deterrent to noncompliance. Additionally, even after controlling for the effects of enforcement actions, non-routine inspections are found to increase compliance. The second essay examines energy consumption among apartment residents whose energy costs are included in their rent. Because these tenants do not face the marginal cost of their own energy use, they have limited incentive to conserve energy. Explanations for the existence of such rental agreements fall into two categories: tenants value the arrangements more than the resulting increase rent, or landlords prefer such contracts over paying the extra costs of metering apartments individually. Data from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey and the American Housing Survey are used to estimate the additional energy use by tenants in utility-paid apartments, and the additional rent paid for those apartments. Results indicate that market rents for utility-paid apartments are higher than for otherwise similar metered apartments. However, this difference is not large enough to offset the increased energy use by tenants of such apartments, supporting landlord-side explanations for the persistence of these seemingly inefficient rental contracts.