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Instrument choice, implementation structures, and the effectiveness of environmental policies: A cross‐national analysis

Yves Steinebach

Regulation & Governance, 2022, vol. 16, issue 1, 225-242

Abstract: While both the economics and political science literature have gained considerable knowledge on why some environmental policies work better than others, we still lack a clear and consistent picture on the determinants of environmental policy effectiveness. This is primarily because influences of the policy design and the implementation process have often been studied in isolation from one another. This article intends to close this gap by systematically examining how different instrument types and the implementation structures interact. By analyzing the air pollutant emissions of 14 OECD countries over a period of 25 years (1990 to 2014), it is revealed that only command‐and‐control (C&C) regulations that are put into practice through well‐equipped and ‐designed implementation structures can be associated systematically with reductions in air pollutant emissions. Softer, so‐called new environmental policy instruments (NEPIs), in turn, are found to have no significant influence on the outcome variable and this regardless of how they are executed and enforced. In essence, these findings indicate that (i) market‐ and information‐based policy instruments seem to be not as self‐implementing as often argued in the existing literature and that; (ii) C&C regulations and market‐ and information‐based instruments need quite different prerequisites to function properly.

Date: 2022
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Handle: RePEc:wly:reggov:v:16:y:2022:i:1:p:225-242