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The Effects of Pricing Waste Generation: A Synthetic Control Approach

Discussion Papers 1737, 22 S.

Matheus Bueno, Marica Valente


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Published in: Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 96 (2019), S. 274-285


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. To account for policy endogeneity due to unobservables, we employ the synthetic control method on a unique panel of monthly waste generation. 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 a minor increase in recycling (+6,1%).

JEL-Classification: D01;C21;Q53
Keywords: Waste generation, unit pricing, synthetic controls
Frei zugängliche Version: (econstor)