Abstract/Details

Enforcing voluntary agreements for environmental protection: A theoretical and experimental analysis


2007 2007

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Voluntary agreements are increasingly being considered as viable alternatives to more traditional forms of environmental management. Although the economic literature on voluntary approaches to environmental protection has progressed quite far in the last decade, no one has rigorously addressed the fact that compliance with voluntary agreements must be enforced. This body of work directly addresses this issue by examining the consequences of the need for member-financed enforcement of compliance on the performance of voluntary agreements for environmental protection.

In the first chapter, I examine the impact of including costly monitoring of compliance within a theoretical model of a self-enforcing international environmental agreement (IEA). I find that although monitoring costs limit the circumstances under which international cooperation to protect the environment is worthwhile, when IEAs do form they will involve greater participation than IEAs that do not require costly monitoring. Consequently, costly monitoring of IEAs is associated with higher international environmental quality.

The second chapter develops a theoretical model to compare the properties of a voluntary agreement made between a government and an industry with a traditional emissions tax, when compliance is costly to enforce. I find that a voluntary agreement can be a more efficient way to achieve an environmental quality objective over an emission tax, but only if (1) profitable agreements exist; (2) members bear the cost of enforcement, and (3) the enforcer of the agreement has a significant advantage in enforcement technologies compared to the government.

In the final chapter, a set of provision point experiments are used to empirically test the major theoretical conclusions of the first chapter. I find that, contrary to what the theory predicts, member-financed enforcement of compliance actually reduces the overall provision of the public good. This result is entirely due to the fact that members of stable coalitions only profit if all members fully comply with their commitments, and therefore, cooperative coalitions to provide a public good completely collapse with any positive level of noncompliance. Finally, I show that requiring all members to participate within an agreement that is costly to enforce can significantly increase the overall provision of the public good.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Studies;
Agreements;
Environmental protection;
Compliance
Classification
0501: Economics
0511: Economic theory
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences, Environmental economics, Environmental protection, Experimental economics, International environmental agreements, Voluntary agreements
Title
Enforcing voluntary agreements for environmental protection: A theoretical and experimental analysis
Author
McEvoy, David M.
Number of pages
166
Publication year
2007
Degree date
2007
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 68/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780549330486
Advisor
Stranlund, John K.
Committee member
Baker, Erin; Murphy, James J.; Spraggon, John
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Department
Resource Economics
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3289239
ProQuest document ID
304849298
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304849298
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.