Protecting the environment when costs and benefits are privately known
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I analyze different approaches for protecting the environment when stakeholders are privately informed about the costs and benefits of pollution reduction. The presence of asymmetric information calls for some important departures from the textbook prescriptions of marketable permits and emission taxes for controlling pollution. For instance, it may no longer be optimal to equate the social marginal benefits to the marginal cost of cleanup in determining appropriate abatement levels. I conclude this review with some suggestions for future research in this area.