Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

No 2012:6: Political influence on environmental sanction charges in Swedish municipalities

Eric Sjöberg ()
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Eric Sjöberg: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Earlier literature has established that enforcement of the Swedish Environmental Code varies greatly across municipalities. This is problematic due to differences in application of the law and from an efficiency perspective. This study shows that the variation can to some extent be explained by the ruling political coalition. Green Party representation in the ruling coalition is estimated to have a positive effect on the number of environmental sanction charges handed out by the local environmental offices. A difference in differences approach and IV- estimation is used to address the endogeneity issues. I argue for the random distribution of local party representation in the municipal council and use the absence of local parties as an instrument for Green Party representation in the ruling coalition.

Keywords: Environmental code; Decentralization; Law enforcement

JEL-codes: K32; K42; Q01

27 pages, June 11, 2012

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