EuroEconomica, Vol 31, No 5 (2012)

Multi-Tasking in the Waste Realm. Theoretical and Empirical Insights on Management and Disposal Performances.

Massimiliano Mazzanti, Francesco Nicolli, Dario Biolcati Rinaldi


We investigate waste management and disposal performances through the lens of the multi-tasking model (Holmstrom and Milgrom, 1991) to analyse the conversion that occurred in the Italian municipal waste management system, which is of interest due to its idiosyncratic and extensive decentralisation of waste management and policy decisions. We empirically root the research on a large panel dataset that covers 103 provinces over a decade. Waste management and waste policy incentives are tested. Main results are that increasing the price of landfill taxes promotes the primarily technological substitute to disposal, i.e. recycling, and consequently is able to promote separate collection. With regard to the new tariff, it constitutes an economic incentive to promote separate collection, because its structure includes tax breaks for those people who reach a certain amount of separate collection. More negative outcomes – but coherent with the multi-tasking model – emerge when assessing the determinants of waste generation: neither the tariff nor the landfill tax is statistically significant drivers of waste generation.


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