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Economic Disincentives for Pollution Control: Legal, Political and Administrative Dimensions (1974)

Paper Number: EE-0175

Document Date: 07/01/1974

Author(s):  Irwin, William A.; Liroff, Richard A.

Subject Area(s): Economic Analysis, Economic Incentives, Pollution Fees, Charges and Taxes

Keywords:  Economic Analysis, Economic Incentives, Pollution Fees, Charges and Taxes

Abstract: 

This report defines an economic disincentive as a monetary charge levied by government on conduct which is not illegal but which does impose social costs, for the principal purpose of discouraging the conduct. Disincentives are distinguished from other legal mechanisms which may have incidental economic disincentive effects, e.g., fines, user charges, and license fees. The constitutionality of federal of state imposition of disincentives is examined and the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the states to utilize disincentives under selected federal environmental statues is analyzed. The legality of some disincentives adopted by states is discussed. The charges imposed by several European countries are described and distinguished from disincentives. The history of some previous proposals for federal disincentives is reviewed and suggestions for additional disincentives which might be feasible are offered.

A copy of this report is available at the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)

This paper is part of the  Environmental Economics Research Inventory.

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  • Economic Disincentives for Pollution Control: Legal, Political and Administrative Dimensions (1974) (PDF)(274 pp, 65 MB, 07/01/1974, EE-0175, EPA-600/5/74/026)
    Report defines an economic disincentive as a monetary charge levied by government on conduct which is not illegal but which does impose social costs, for the principal purpose of discouraging the conduct. Disincentives are distinguished from other legal mechanisms which may have incidental economic disincentive effects, e.g., fines, user charges, and license fees.The constitutionality of federal of state imposition of disincentives is examined, as are EPA & state authorities to use disincentives