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Management of Hazardous Waste and Contaminated Land

Posted: 16 Sep 2011  

Hilary Sigman

Rutgers University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sarah L. Stafford

College of William and Mary - Arts and Sciences; William & Mary Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2011


Regulation of hazardous waste and cleanup of contaminated sites are two major components of modern public policy for environmental protection. We review the literature on these related areas, with emphasis on empirical analyses. Researchers have identified many behavioral responses to regulation of hazardous waste, including changes in the location of economic activity. However, the drivers behind compliance with these costly regulations remain a puzzle, as most research suggests a limited role for conventional enforcement. Increasingly sophisticated research examines the benefits of cleanup of contaminated sites, yet controversy remains about whether the benefits of cleanup in the United States exceed its costs. Finally, research focusing on the imposition of legal liability for damages from hazardous waste finds advantages and disadvantages of the U.S. reliance on legal liability to pay for cleanup, as opposed to the government-financed approaches more common in Europe.

Suggested Citation

Sigman, Hilary and Stafford, Sarah L., Management of Hazardous Waste and Contaminated Land (October 2011). Annual Review of Resource Economics, Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 255-275, 2011. Available at SSRN: or

Hilary A. Sigman (Contact Author)

Rutgers University - Department of Economics ( email )

75 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States


National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sarah L. Stafford

College of William and Mary - Arts and Sciences ( email )

104 E Morton Hall
Williamsburg, VA 23187
United States

William & Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

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