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
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
Date posted: August 7, 2006
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