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Oil Pollution Prevention and Enforcement Measures and their Effectiveness: A Survey of Empirical Research

Mark A. Cohen

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Law School; Resources for the Future

July 2004

This paper reviews the empirical research on the effectiveness of oil pollution prevention and enforcement measures in the United States. I consider both "prevention" or "monitoring" activities such as government inspections, and "enforcement" activities such as sanctions, remedial actions, and other mechanisms designed to punish and/or bring a firm into compliance to reduce the frequency and/or size of spills. Over the past 20 years, there have been a series of independent studies by academic researchers analyzing Coast Guard and oil spill data with the goal of determining the effectiveness of alternative monitoring, enforcement and penalty policies. While the overwhelming finding from these studies is that enforcement efforts reduce oil spills, questions abound about the proper mix of enforcement techniques and whether the costs of more enforcement would exceed the benefits.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: oil spills, enforcement, environmental regulation, monitoring

JEL Classification: D62, H41, Q58

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Date posted: August 7, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Mark A., Oil Pollution Prevention and Enforcement Measures and their Effectiveness: A Survey of Empirical Research (July 2004). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=922492 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.922492

Contact Information

Mark A. Cohen (Contact Author)
Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management ( email )
401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
615-322-0533 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.mba.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/mcohen.cfm
Vanderbilt University - Law School
131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
Resources for the Future ( email )
1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-328-5000 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN

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