Research issues in nonpoint pollution control

James S. Shortle, Richard D. Horan, David G. Abler

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Research on nonpoint pollution control instruments has focused primarily on incentives applied either to production inputs that affect nonpoint pollution, or to ambient pollution concentrations. Both approaches may in theory yield an efficient solution. However, input-based incentives will generally have to be second-best to make implementation practical. Design issues include which inputs to monitor and the rates to apply to them. The limited research indicates that second-best, input-based incentives can be effective in adjusting input use in environmentally desirable ways. Alternatively, ambient-based incentives have theoretical appeal because efficient policy design appears to be less complex than for input-based incentives. These incentives have no track record nor close analogues that demonstrate potential effectiveness, however. Research on how households and firms might react in response to ambient-based incentives is needed before these instruments can be seriously considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-585
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 1st World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists - Venice, Italy
Duration: Jun 25 1998Jun 27 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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