Date of Original Version
Stemming from Segerson , literature on nonpoint source pollution shows that ambient-based regulatory policies can induce polluters in a common watershed to comply with an exogenously determined emissions standard. This study uses laboratory economic experiments in a spatially heterogeneous setting to test the effectiveness of an ambient tax/subsidy policy in a setting with realistic in-stream nutrient transport dynamics when varying levels of ambient information about the pollution is available to the agents and the regulator. We find that increasing the frequency of ambient monitoring improves the spatial allocation of emissions reductions. In particular with more frequent monitoring, the ambient-based policy induces firms further from the monitoring point to reduce emissions significantly more than downstream firms. Overall, the results suggest that enhanced information, especially enhanced temporal resolution, leads to efficiency gains.
Miao, Haoran; Fooks, Jacob; Guilfoos, Todd; Messer, Kent; Pradhanang, Soni M.; Suter, Jordan; Trandafir, Simona; and Uchida, Emi, "The impact of information on behavior under an ambient-based policy for regulating nonpoint source pollution" (2016). Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Working Papers 2016-01. http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/enre_working_papers/1