Skip to main content

2006-10-12 | Peer Reviewed

The Benefits and Costs of Informal Sector Pollution Control: Traditional Mexican Brick Kilns

Blackman, Allen, Jhih-Shyang Shih, David Evans, Joseph cook, Michael Batz and Stephen Newbold. 2006. “ The benefits and costs of informal sector pollution control: Mexican brick kilns.” Environment and Development Economics 11:5: 603-627.
Download reference Doi:10.1017/S1355770X06003159

In developing countries, the rapid proliferation of informal firms – low-technology unlicensed micro-enterprises – is having significant environmental impacts. Yet environmental management authorities typically ignore such firms.

This paper estimates the annual net benefits (benefits minus costs) of controlling particulate emissions from a collection of informal brick kilns in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and from two of the city's leading formal industrial polluters. We find that the annual net benefits of controlling brick kiln emissions are substantial – in the tens of millions of dollars – and exceed those for the two formal industrial facilities by a significant margin. These results suggest that, in some cases, the conventional allocation of pollution control resources across formal and informal polluters may be suboptimal.


  • Blackman, Allen
  • Other authors:
    Shih, Jhih-Shyang
    Evans, David
    cook, Joseph
    Batz, Michael
    Newbold, Stephen