Pollution and Pollution Control Through an Economic Lens

  • Randall BluffstoneEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Global Environmental Pollution book series (EGEP, volume 1)


This chapter examines the drivers and incentives behind pollution emissions and pollution control. Ecosystem services tend to be produced from common pool resources, which are depletable and difficult to exclude users from, rather than other classes of resources. These characteristics are some of the main reasons we have such trouble managing valuable natural resources. Recognizing that strong incentives exist to degrade environmental resources and also free-ride off those who protect them is therefore a key starting point for improving environmental protection.


Common pool resources Public goods Pollution Pollution control Economic instruments 


  1. Bluffstone R (2003) Environmental taxes in developing and transition economies. Public Financ Manag 3(1):143–175Google Scholar
  2. Coase R (1960) The problem of social cost. J Law Econ 3:1–44. Reprinted in Oates W (1992) The economics of the environment. Edward Elgar, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Freeman AM (2003) The measurement of environmental and resource values. Resources for the Future, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  4. French H (1990) Green revolutions: environmental reconstruction in Easter Europe and the Soviet Union Worldwatch Paper No. 99. Worldwatch Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  5. Krutilla J (1967) Conservation reconsidered. Am Econ Rev 57(4):777–786Google Scholar
  6. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and human well-being: synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  7. Napolitano S, Schreifels J, Stevens G, Witt M, LaCount M, Forte R, Smith K (2007) The U.S. Acid Rain Program: key insights from the Design, Operation, and Assessment of a Cap-and-Trade Program. Electr J 20(7):47–58. Accessed 1 Jan 2012
  8. Ostrom E (1990) Governing the commons: the evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pigou AC (1952) The economics of welfare, 4th edn. Macmillan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Sachs J (1997) In: Bluffstone R, Larson BA (eds) Preface in controlling pollution in transition economies: theories and methods. Edward Elgar, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. Sterner T (2003) Policy instruments for environmental and natural resource management. Resources for the Future, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations