Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 489–519 | Cite as

Economic Incentives and Residential Waste Management in Taiwan: An Empirical Investigation

  • Hai-Lan Yang
  • Robert InnesEmail author


This paper presents an empirical study of how three waste management policies have affected residential waste generation and recycling behavior in Taiwan over the past decade. The three policies are unit-pricing of garbage in Taipei, a mandatory recycling program in Kaohsiung, and a nationwide policy of charging for plastic bags. We estimate policy effects on total waste, total recycling, and recycling of four specific materials, all measured by weight per capita. Unlike prior work, we find that unit-pricing and mandatory recycling policies lead to significant increases in recycling of most materials, as well as increased levels of total recycling and garbage reduction. The “plastic bag” policy is generally found to lower material-specific and total recycling rates, as well as total garbage volumes.

Key words

recycling solid waste management unit pricing 


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The authors owe thanks to Justin Tobias, Satheesh Aradhyula, Gary Thompson, and an anonymous reviewer for many penetrating comments. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, 260 Heady HallIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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