Are Nimbys Commuters?

41 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2008

See all articles by Bert Saveyn

Bert Saveyn

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL)

Date Written: February 2006


This paper considers a metropolitan area where residents can commute between several jurisdictions. These residents show NIMBY behavior (Not-In-My-Backyard). They try to preserve their living quality by pushing their polluting economic activity to the neighboring jurisdictions, while keeping their labor income as commuters. This induces a race-to-the-top among jurisdictions. Fiercer competition due to a higher number of jurisdictions intensifies this race-to-the-top; commuting costs, pollution taxes, payroll taxes and bigger jurisdictions increase rather than decrease the incentive for more pollution.

Keywords: Commuting, NIMBY, inter-jurisdictional competition, environmental federalism

JEL Classification: H, Q, R

Suggested Citation

Saveyn, Bert, Are Nimbys Commuters? (February 2006). Available at SSRN: or

Bert Saveyn (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant

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