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The Effects of Pricing Waste Generation: A Synthetic Control Approach

Matheus Bueno and Marica Valente

No 1737, Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin from DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research

Abstract: To internalize pollution externalities into household waste generation, Unit Pricing Systems (UPS) have been adopted worldwide. This paper evaluates the causal effects of a UPS on the disposal of municipal solid waste in Trento, Italy. To account for policy endogeneity due to unobservables, we employ the synthetic control method on a unique panel of monthly waste generation. Our results show that the policy was effective, with a significant decrease of the priced waste stream,unsorted waste, by 37.5%. This effect seems to be largely driven by behavioral changes towards waste avoidance (-8,6%) and a minor increase in recycling (+6,1%).

Keywords: Waste generation; unit pricing; synthetic controls (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D01 C21 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env
Date: 2018
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