International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Environmental Regulatory Reform in Poland: Lessons for Industrializing Economies

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This paper examines the environmental regulatory reform in Poland during the 1990s and uses the findings to consider the extent to which elements of successful regulatory systems are transferable across national boundaries. Drawing on five case studies of privatized firms, a mailed questionnaire, and policy and institutional analysis, it investigates how Poland developed an effective system for managing industrial pollution while also achieving considerable socioeconomic progress. The fundamental legitimacy of the regulators and regulatory process, the availability of information about firms and regulatory intents, and the capacity for case-specific decision-making are among the key explanatory factors. The study also shows how in Poland a good 'fit' between regulatory institutions and policies on one hand and their social context on the other hand has evolved, and how it contributes to the effectiveness of the regulatory system. Industrializing economies can indeed simultaneously pursue environmental protection and socioeconomic welfare, but elements of a proven regulatory system cannot be automatically adopted among countries and cultures. Learning from each other's experience must be sensitive to the cultural and institutional context of each regulatory system.

Publication Title

Environmental Science and Technology

Publication Date

9-15-2000

Volume

34

Issue

18

First Page

3849

Last Page

3856

ISSN

0013-936X

DOI

10.1021/es0009471

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