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2011 OECD Economic Surveys: Italy 2011

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Italy 2011

OECD's periodic economic survey of the Italian economy.  This 2011 edition features chapters covering strengthening the economic recovery and fiscal sustainability, the contribution of universities to economic growth, and getting environmental policy prices and governance right.

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Environmental policy

getting prices and governance right

In many areas environmental indicators are improving, although there have been frequent changes in some policy instruments, especially in energy related areas, where central government makes and enforces policy. Greater use of cost-benefit analyses of policies, regulations and investments, could improve the extent to which least-cost solutions are chosen. The decentralisation process in Italy has assigned responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of most environmental policy to sub-national governments and, while appropriate in many ways, this may be resulting in some excess costs and slower diffusion of best practices. Transport and energy policies contain a number of potential inefficiencies, particularly with regard to full implementation of the polluter-pays principle, since policy does not always succeed in making all polluters pay the same marginal cost for similar pollution. Policy with respect to household and packaging waste is advancing and innovative in some areas, but also overshadowed by recurring crises in the South which, while exacerbated by the involvement of organised crime, have also been the result of poor planning and mismanagement. In both waste management and water supply, the cost-efficiency of economic and environmental management would be improved by a programme of privatisation, provided independent national regulators are established to provide the appropriate framework.

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