The environmental economics of a global ban on mercury-added products
2011 (English)Report (Refereed)
The main objective of this paper is to explore the efficiency of two regulatory options in the context of a global commitment to gradually phase-out the use of mercury-added products. In the first case no mercury-added products would be allowed unless they are listed in an annex (the negative list), while in the second case all mercury-added products would be allowed unless they are listed in an annex (the positive list). In both cases countries may have time to make the transition away from these products through the use of exemptions. The paper provides first a conceptual discussion of bans as regulatory instruments and of the use of technology-forcing standards to attain deep reductions in the use of hazardous substances, and we outline a simple theoretical framework within which the above regulatory options for mercury-added products can be analyzed. This framework is employed to analyze some important pros and cons of the negative and the positive list approaches. Specifically, we address a number of factors that may differ across the two options, such as: (a) the potential presence of different types of information inefficiencies; (b) the flexibility in compliance measures granted by the two approaches; (c) the significance of administration costs as well as other relevant policy implementation issues. The analysis indicates that the negative list approach could facilitate a more cost-effective phase-out of mercury, in part since in this case an individual country seeking exemption would bear the burden of identifying the need for the exemption. With the positive list approach it would be more difficult to induce mercury users to reveal their true costs of substituting to other substances.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundbyberg: Swedish Chemcials Agency , 2011. , 24 p.
, PM, 3/11
Research subject Economics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-23524Local ID: 74ecf7d1-4662-42a5-aa56-15c34efdcfb2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-23524DiVA: diva2:996573
Godkänd; 2011; 20111123 (patriks)2016-09-292016-09-29Bibliographically approved