Collective Action

Collective Action

Collective Action

Collective Action

Synopsis

How important is small firm pollution? Will forcing small firms to comply with environmental regulations exacerbate unemployment and poverty? What policy options are available to control small firm pollution? Using eleven case studies from China, Ecuador, Honduras, India, Malaysia, and Mexico, this title addresses these questions.

Excerpt

In his preface to this book, Russell Hardin asks why it is that the analysis of collective choice behavior has become such a large academic industry over the past fifteen years. He provides several possible answers, two of which are especially important in explaining the continuing interest of Resources for the Future in the field. The major spur to our undertaking and supporting of collective choice research came from observing how frequently sound economic and engineering reasoning about environmental problems led to prescriptions for policies and public institutions that came to nothing in the real world of public decisions.

To cite only one prominent example, the idea that river basin commissions should be created and made responsible for water quantity and quality management has considerable appeal on the basis of an efficiency analysis of these problems. But, few river basin commissions have in fact been created, and those that were had structures more or less guaranteeing that the efficient basin management solutions could never be adopted. In particular, the commissions usually had state members, and each state had one vote, if not an effective veto. Efficiency, which required upstream treatment to benefit downstream cities and recreational users, did not appeal to upstream states unless downstream treatment was extracted as a quid pro quo. Thus, uniform treatment became the politically feasible choice.

This rather commonplace sort of frustration and attendant education was intensified for us by the general mistrust of executive power and revival of interest in legislatures, representation, and legislative decision . . .

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