Bucking the Kuznets Curve: Designing Effective Environmental Regulation in Developing Countries
64 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 18, 2010
This Article suggests that in addressing problems of environmental degradation in developing countries, policymakers and scholars have neglected the important question of regulatory design. While a country’s long-term improvement in environmental conditions almost certainly depends on improving its economic position, in the short to medium term, the quality and type of environmental regulation can play a significant role in determining regulatory effectiveness. Much of the research into the failures of environmental regulation has focused on implementation and enforcement problems, but we argue that one of the primary reasons for such regulatory failure is that policymakers have not paid enough attention to designing regulation appropriate to the legal, economic, political, and social situations in which they must function.
After providing background on the historical approach to environmental regulation in developing countries and offering our thoughts on why such efforts have not succeeded, we consider what lessons we can draw from the fields of law and economics and law and development in attempting to formulate a new, more particularized approach. We conclude by recommending a set of concrete indicators for how best to construct effective environmental regulation in developing countries.
Keywords: Environmental Law, Developing Countries, Standard Setting, (De)Centralisation, Corruption, Legal Transplants
JEL Classification: K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation