The scope and scale of information provision as environmental policy has grown dramatically in recent decades. In principle, disclosure instruments hold great promise. In practice, the evidence is mixed. This chapter reviews what we know about environmental information provision from a policy perspective. The survey considers theories and mechanisms potentially driving outcomes, potential advantages of disclosure programs relative to alternatives, the empirical evidence on effectiveness, implications for policy and practice, and gaps in knowledge. Environmental information provision, despite potential theoretical and political promise, is not a proverbial magic bullet. Environmental disclosure in the real world is complicated by subtle design details and behavioral realities.
Jay P. Shimshack
Jay P Shimshack
Abstract How do we know when and where monitoring and enforcement actions enhance environmental compliance and performance in the real world? This chapter reviews a growing literature that quantitatively measures the deterrence effects of environmental monitoring and enforcement activity. The focus is on the ‘how and why’ of empirical deterrence measurement. Key topics include: the promise of deterrence measurement, data requirements, empirical approaches and methodological challenges. The chapter concludes with a brief summary of key results and knowledge gaps.
Mark A Cohen and Jay P Shimshack
Abstract Monitoring and enforcement are often overlooked when researchers and policymakers consider the choice of policy instruments. This chapter reviews arguments for how, when, and why monitoring and enforcement may impact the choice of instruments in environmental policy. The chapter considers a wide range of perspectives, including positive descriptive arguments based on political economy considerations, normative arguments based on social welfare maximisation, and normative arguments based on narrower objectives like regulatory cost minimisation. The chapter first considers the choice of policy instruments across regulatory domains – for example, whether a market-based instrument is preferable to a command-and-control instrument. The chapter then considers the choice of policy instruments within each regulatory domain – for example, if a command-and-control standard is to be adopted, how do monitoring and enforcement affect the decision about whether to impose a technology mandate versus an emissions performance standard?