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The effects of pricing waste generation: A synthetic control approach

Bueno, Matheus and Valente, Marica (2019) The effects of pricing waste generation: A synthetic control approach. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 96. pp. 274-285.

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To internalize pollution externalities into household waste generation, Unit Pricing Systems (UPS) have been adopted worldwide. This paper evaluates the causal effects of a UPS on the disposal of municipal solid waste in Trento, Italy. Using a unique panel dataset of monthly waste generation in Italian municipalities, we employ the synthetic control method, which allows us to account for possible time-varying effects of unobservables. Our results show that the policy was effective, with a significant decrease of the priced waste stream, unsorted waste, by 37.5%. This effect seems to be largely driven by behavioral changes towards waste avoidance (−8.6%) and possibly by a smaller increase in recycling (+6.1%). By comparing these results to those obtained by a difference-in-differences approach, we show that failing to account for time-varying effects of unobservables may lead to a mismeasurement of policy effects.

Item Type: Article
Language: English
Date: July 2019
Refereed: Yes
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 14:48
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2020 12:55
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