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Environmental citizen complaints

Colmer, Jonathan Mark, Evans, Mary F. and Shimshack, Jay (2023) Environmental citizen complaints. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1903). London School of Economics and Political Science. Centre for Economic Performance, London, UK.

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Abstract

Citizen complaints feature prominently in public oversight contexts. The nature and effects of complaints, however, are controversial and poorly understood. We first investigate attitudes about citizen complaints using a nationally representative survey. We document that the public believes complaints promote open, efficient, and equitable governance. We then exploit novel administrative data on over 130,000 complaints in Texas to investigate their observed dynamic effects on regulator behavior. Empirically, complaints are associated with sharp increases in regulator monitoring and enforcement. Complaints uncover more, and more severe violations, than more standard monitoring approaches. Overall, our findings are consistent with complaints enhancing regulatory efficiency.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/discussion...
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
JEL classification: Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q58 - Government Policy
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q5 - Environmental Economics > Q53 - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
K - Law and Economics > K3 - Other Substantive Areas of Law > K32 - Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D78 - Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2024 11:24
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:32
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/121326

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