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Local solutions to global problems : policy choice and regulatory jurisdiction

Author: James B Bushnell; Carla Peterman; Catherine D Wolfram; National Bureau of Economic Research.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2007.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 13472.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This paper considers the efficiency of various types of environmental regulations when they are applied locally to pollutants whose damages extend outside the jurisdiction of the local regulator. We draw on examples from state- and city-level efforts to address climate change by enacting policies to reduce greenhouse gases. While previous work has noted the possibility for leakage, whereby the polluting sources move  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: James B Bushnell; Carla Peterman; Catherine D Wolfram; National Bureau of Economic Research.
OCLC Number: 173817064
Description: 1 online resource (1 volume).
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 13472.
Responsibility: James Bushnell, Carla Peterman, Catherine Wolfram.

Abstract:

This paper considers the efficiency of various types of environmental regulations when they are applied locally to pollutants whose damages extend outside the jurisdiction of the local regulator. We draw on examples from state- and city-level efforts to address climate change by enacting policies to reduce greenhouse gases. While previous work has noted the possibility for leakage, whereby the polluting sources move outside the jurisdiction of the regulation in order to escape it, we note an additional problem when policies are targeted downstream at consumers of goods whose production creates pollution. Specifically, we show how consumer-based policies can be circumvented by a simple reshuffling of who is buying from whom. We argue that the leakage and reshuffling problems are most pronounced with more flexible or market-based regulations. We conclude that localities may have the most effect on global pollutants when they enact efficiency standards or targeted subsidies.

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