Characterizing the policy instrument mixes for municipal waste in Sweden and England

Åsa Persson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In the search for effective environmental policy instruments (EPIs), the interest in combining environmental policy instruments - such as taxes and charges, tradable permit schemes, voluntary agreements, information measures, and traditional command-and-control regulation - in synergistic policy mixes has intensified recently (OECD, 2001a). However, there is also a need to analyse the longer term pattern in the choice of instruments for a cumulative policy mix. The aim of this paper is to examine two aspects of this pattern - diversity and coerciveness - in the field of municipal waste management in Sweden and England. Based on an inventory of instruments adopted at the national level in 1995-2005, it is concluded that the diversity has increased in both countries, although the national instrument preferences differ. Two contrasting hypotheses on coerciveness in the sequencing of instruments are then tested; the 'minimal-coercion' hypothesis by Doern and Wilson (1974) and van der Doelen's (1998) 'give-and-take' strategy. It is found that Sweden has made relatively consistent choices of more coercive instruments, while a pattern of 'give-and-take' of positive and negative instruments can be discerned in the instrument mix in England.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-231
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Instrument choice
  • Municipal waste management
  • Policy mix


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