Monitoring, Firm Compliance, and Imposition of Fines: Evidence from the Federal Industrial Inspection Program in Mexico City

Peer Reviewed
18 June 2013

Ninel Escobar, Carlos Chávez

We analyze the performance of the Federal Industrial Inspection Program operated by the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) in Mexico City. We seek to answer three questions: What drives the inspections? What determines non-compliance? And what drives imposition of fines? We use firm-level data that identify certain characteristics of the firms, PROFEPA's inspections, compliance results and fines for all air polluting firms under the Program during the period January 2000–October 2008. We obtain three main results. First, PROFEPA's inspections have focused on larger firms devoted to industrial activities located in poor and dense municipalities. Second, past inspections were significant and have a high marginal effect on compliance. Third, the severity of the infraction was not relevant to the decision to impose a fine but rather to its amount.


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Escobar, N., & Chávez, C. (2013). Monitoring, firms’ compliance and imposition of fines: evidence from the Federal Industrial Inspection Program in Mexico City. Environment and Development Economics, 18(6), 723–748. doi:10.1017/s1355770x13000338

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Publication | 1 December 2013