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TABLE 5 Total (Private and Public) Pollution Control Expenditure as Percentage of GDP

Country

1972

1974

1976

1978

1980

1982

1984

1986

United States

1.22

1.44

1.57

1.57

1.62

1.47

1.44

1.47

Incl. households

1.50

1.76

1.92 

1.92

1.99

1.85

1.85

1.88

Austria

1.09

1.10

Finland

1.31

1.24

1.10

1.16

France

0.86

0.84

0.89

Incl. households

1.15

Germany

1.26

1.33

1.45

1.45

1.37

Netherlands

1.11

1.18

United Kingdoma

1.66

1.57

SOURCE: OECD 1990, Table 2, p. 40.

a 1977 and 1981 figures.

the part of expenditure that is really a result of environmental control. It is equally difficult, if not impossible, to measure increased expenditure caused by product control, as for example, when a pesticide or other chemical is banned and disappears from the market…. it should be noted that some data are survey-based, others are budgeted figures and others are estimates. Furthermore, some countries have provided data on a calendar year basis whilst others have provided information on a fiscal year basis. In a few cases data have been provided for combined calendar and fiscal years. Most of the data are provided on a current price basis, but a few figures are given on a constant price basis. Finally, the composition of the expenditure categories varies widely between countries, especially for the different environmental media."17 This warning effectively implies that the OECD data should be used for broad comparisons only rather than as a precise indicator of costs.

Environmental Quality

The ultimate goal of environmental policy is environmental quality. It can be argued that policies should achieve comparable environmental quality, given comparable environmental conditions to begin with. In effect this approach compares ambient quality standards or other measures of environmental quality. It must face the fact that countries with lower standards, lesser procedures, and smaller costs may achieve better environmental quality than countries with high standards, rigorous procedures, and high costs. For example, the Rhine valley in Northern Germany holds an extraordinary concentration of population and activity. It is also an area through which two of the main transportation arteries of Europe pass. Consequently its environment is heavily burdened. At the same time, the Rhine Valley represents an area of high attraction for economic activity



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