Original Article

Journal of Regulatory Economics

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 83-107

First online:

Can consumers enforce environmental regulations? The role of the market in hazardous waste compliance

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We examine the U.S. hazardous waste management industry to assess the role that consumers play in encouraging environmental compliance. We first examine whether environmental performance affects consumer demand and find that noncompliance does decrease demand, at least in the short term. Next we consider whether market characteristics affect compliance behavior. While we do not find evidence that market size affects behavior, local competition does appear to increase compliance. However, as competition becomes less localized, it has a smaller effect. Finally, regardless of the pressures exerted by consumers to comply, commercial managers are less likely to be in compliance than on-site managers.


Commercial environmentalism Compliance Enforcement Hazardous waste Market size Competition

JEL Classifications

Q28 K42 D21