Environmental Enforcement and Compliance: Lessons from Pollution, Safety, and Tax Settings Apr 27, 2019 By Jay ShimshackJames Alm Environmental Enforcement and Compliance: Lessons from Pollution, Safety, and Tax Settings Environmental monitoring and enforcement are controversial and incompletely understood. This survey reviews what we do and do not know about the overall effectiveness, as well as the cost effectiveness, of pollution monitoring and enforcement. We ask five key questions: what do environmental monitoring and enforcement actions look like in the real world? How do we assess environmental compliance and deterrence? Do environmental monitoring and enforcement actions get results? How, why, and when do inspections and sanctions achieve compliance and reduce pollution? And, what do the answers to the preceding questions tell us about designing and implementing more effective and more cost effective public policies for the environment? A key contribution is drawing lessons from diverse sources, including insights from theoretical, empirical, and experimental contributions in environmental, tax, and safety settings. We conclude that traditional environmental monitoring and enforcement actions generate important deterrence effects. However, there are limits to such deterrence, and deterrence itself cannot fully explain all patterns of environmental behavior. Encouraging compliance requires both traditional tools and additional tools. Foundations and Trends® in Microeconomics Foundations and Trends® in Microeconomics Areas of focus Environmental Policy Jay Shimshack Jay Shimshack is a professor of public policy and economics as well as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Shimshack's research focuses on environmental regulation, environmental economics, corporate social behavior, and applied microeconomics for public policy. Read full bio James Alm Related Content Jay Shimshack Disparities in PM2.5 air pollution in the United States Research Particulate air pollution in the contiguous United States has decreased considerably over recent decades, but where exactly has that progress been made? Batten's Jay Shimshack and his co-authors dive in. Costly Sanctions and the Treatment of Frequent Violators in Regulatory Settings Research Regulators typically treat frequent violators more harshly. When does such harsh treatment maximize overall compliance? Batten Faculty Recognized for Excellence in Teaching, Service, Research and Engagement News This academic year, Batten School professors won a slew of internal and external recognitions for excellence in teaching, service, research and engagement. Batten's Lipscomb Receives UVA's Prestigious Public Impact-Focused Research Award News Batten professor Molly Lipscomb was honored with the university's Public Impact-Focused Research Award for her work examining the impact of bringing public services to low-income households in countries where services are needed.