OECD Development Centre Working Papers

The OECD Development Centre links OECD members with developing and emerging economies and fosters debate and discussion to seek creative policy solutions to emerging global issues and development challenges. This series of working papers is intended to disseminate the OECD Development Centre’s research findings rapidly among specialists in the field concerned. These papers are generally available in the original English or French, with a summary in the other language.

English, French

Input-Based Pollution Estimates for Environmental Assessment in Developing Countries

The practice of environmental regulation and assessment in developing countries faces many special challenges. Apart from popular misconceptions about negative links between environmentalism and economic growth, there are numerous practical limitations to appraising environmental conditions and implementing policies that conserve or improve them. These include weak institutional capacity or discipline, high monitoring and administrative costs for individual programs, and limited local engineering information.

Institutional constraints mean that first-best policies like direct pollution monitoring and regulation may not be feasible. Even market-based systems like tradable pollution permits usually require initial assessment and monitoring which is too costly or complex to be supported locally. Detailed data on pollution do exist for OECD countries, however, and this paper attempts to render this information more usable to environmental analysts in countries where direct sampling has not ...


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