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Enforcement of Environmental Protection Laws under Communism and Democracy

Dietrich Earnhart

Journal of Law and Economics, 1997, vol. 40, issue 2, 377-402

Abstract: Lax enforcement of environmental protection laws in the formerly communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe is offered as one contributing factor to the large-scale environmental degradation that these countries have experienced. This article empirically examines enforcement responses to water-damaging "accidents" (for example, an oil spill) in the Czech Republic for the years 1988-92, a time period that spans both the communist political regime and the democratic political regime. In particular, it focuses on ex post penalties: required remediation (for example, cleanup after an oil spill) and monetary fines. Empirical analysis reveals the factors driving enforcement strategies in each political period and contrasts their influence under the two regimes. In particular, it identifies the operative liability rules guiding remediation and monetary fine decisions. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.

Date: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:40:y:1997:i:2:p:377-402