The search has found 39 titles

Do impact studies guide policies, do policies direct impact studies, or are ideologies inspiring both? We analyse the proposed new European regulation on packaging and show that the expected benefits are much lower than those magnified by official declarations. Our debunk- ing of the Impact Assessment study, apart from the specific issues, raises concerns about how the European regulatory process is made. By doing so, he invites readers to reflect on the intricate relationship between impact studies, policy-making, and the ideological influences that may shape both.

Antonio Massarutto

Economic regulation of waste management utilities: Taking stock of the Italian reform


Fascicolo: 2 / 2020

Since 2018, the economic regulation of Italian municipal waste utilities is attributed to an inde-pendent authority, ARERA. This original model is supposed to facilitate the transition towards the circular economy paradigm, that associates demanding public service obligations to recy-cling and valorization of waste, in the context of a vertically-integrated industry with a wide differentiation of conditions and maturity throughout the country. This paper analyzes the ex-perience of the first two years and discusses the outcomes reached. We start from a discussion of the fundamental economic characteristics of the waste management industry and of how the circular economy paradigm has radically changed it, raising rather new regulatory issues. We next analyze the structure of the Italian municipal waste management industry and its trajecto-ries of evolution face to the challenge to achieve the demanding targets imposed by the EU Circular Economy Package. We present then the regulatory approach adopted by ARERA in the first regulatory period (2020-2021) and discuss its advantages and drawbacks, based on the experience made in the early phase of its implementation.

Anna Moretto, Marinella Favot, Antonio Massarutto

Incinerators in Italy: An overview in the light of the Circular Economy model


Fascicolo: 1 / 2019

In the Circular Economy paradigm, waste management is recognised as an important sub-sector of circular economy which allows recovery of resources and environmental impact prevention. In Italy incineration of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) still counts for 18%. On one hand, knowledge and information on waste flows and technological features of plants (pre-treatment and treatment pants, composting plants, incinerators and landfill) is known. On the other hand, information and studies on economic aspects of such plants are limited. Due to the regulation of the sector, one of the relevant economic indicators of the incinerators are the fees to access to these plants ("gate fees"). This study frames the waste management sector within the Italian legislative structure. Furthermore, it aims at partially close the gap in literature regarding the gate fees of incinerators. Results show that the gate fees are not uniform, and they range between 64 Euro tonne (Napoli in Campania region) to 112 Euro tonne (Padova in Veneto region). This research is also relevant considering the new born regulatory and control authority (ARERA) which includes since January 2018 the waste management sector.

Antonio Massarutto

Italian waste in the circular economy: A agenda for industry regulators in Italy


Fascicolo: 1 / 2019

The advent of the circular economy paradigm has definitively changed the economic nature of municipal waste management and calling for an innovative approach for its economic regulation. This paper discusses how the general framework of the theory of economic regulation of services of general economic interest can fit the MWM industry. We show that this industry exhibits specificities that require an adaptation of regulatory principles, but nonetheless cross-fertilization from the regulatory practice of other utilities is feasible. However, the recognition made shows that the applied economic research on this sector is still in its infant phase, and substantial improvements are needed in order both to understand its mechanisms from a theoretical viewpoint and to provide empirical evidence. Different from other utilities, physical network assets are less dominant and competition opportunities are larger; however, the main constraint to widespread opening of the market descends from contingent reasons determining de-facto market power, and from the superior value of service reliability and contrast to illegal operation.

Antonio Massarutto, Francesco Silvestri

Free municipal waste trade as an incentive to recycling. A theoretical study


Fascicolo: 3 / 2015

According to the Self-Sufficiency and Proximity Principle (SSP), municipal waste (MW) disposal has to be confined within delimited territorial zones, with no trade allowed. The justification is usually the need to make each community aware of its environmental responsibility and discourage diversion of MW to "waste havens". In this paper, we explore the possible benefits associated with some opening to MW treatment service trade. We assume that some areas are equipped with MW treatment facilities, while others are not. We demonstrate, under standard assumptions, that removing SSP and allowing trade of MW disposal services between such regions may foster MW selection in both areas. This is true not only when disposal capacity is constrained, so that a part of the original demand for MW diversion is unsatisfied, but also when it is unconstrained and can accommodate all the residual unsorted MW, provided that the design of rewarding schemes is appropriate. On the contrary, if both districts were equipped with a facility, the same would not be true, and each one would be more willing to exploit the plant’s capacity before engaging in efforts to reduce waste. JEL classification: olid waste, waste management, disposal facilities, waste trade, regulated markets.

Federico Pontoni, Andrea Goltara, Alessandro De Carli, Antonio Massarutto

Hydropower production and environmental regulation: opting for a performance-based tax approach


Fascicolo: 2 / 2014

This paper discusses the case for reforming the actual mechanism for charging water abstractions for hydropower production in Italy and proposes to introduce a performance-based environmental fee. This should be able, on the one hand, to internalize the environmental costs that hydropower production causes and, on the other, to stimulate producers to opt for more environment-friendly management of hydropower plants. We think, in fact, that the re-issue of several expired hydropower concessions represents an opportunity to redefine the taxation system to which hydropower is currently subject to, in order to introduce finally a form of environmental taxation coherent with the Water Framework Directive. In particular, the proposed fee is a real environmental tax, as it aims at changing the environmentally impacting behavior by increasing the marginal cost of damaging river ecosystems. Therefore, it is equitable, as it does not tax all producers the same way, but according to the impacts that their production generates. Finally, it is immediately applicable, as it is based on the successful experience of performance-based regulation in several other sectors.

Antonio Massarutto, Alessandro De Carli

Two birds with one stone: improving ecological quality and flood protection through river restoration in Northern Italy


Fascicolo: 1 / 2014

This paper outlines the results a multi-criteria evaluation study applied to the integrated assessment of flood protection options in Northern Italy. The study aims at comparing advantages and disadvantage of a more traditional approach based on hard infrastructure calibrated on the event with a return time of 200 years (TR200) with a more innovative approach based on a combination of non-structural measures, controlled flooding of lower-value areas and mitigation. These are now standard in Northern Europe and elsewhere; however their feasibility has never been investigated in the Italian context. Despite the study is still at a pioneering level, it authorizes some optimistic evaluation about the desirability of non-structural remedies in Italy. The study argues about the necessity of complementary measures, especially based on compensative payments for ecosystem services, in order to improve social acceptance for such practices.

Antonio Massarutto

The brown side of the green economy: urban garbage and the zero-waste utopia


Fascicolo: 3 / 2012

This article illustrates the result of a study based on the life-cycle costing technique applied to urban waste management in a typical Italian setting, in order to discuss the economic and ecological foundations of a management paradigm inspired by the "zero-waste" philosophy. We identify landfill availability as a critical natural capital requiring the adoption of strong sustainability indicators. We argue that the zero-waste approach is neither feasible nor desirable. Instead, strong arguments can be found in favour of a "zero-landfill" strategy, to be achieved through an adequate mix of material and energy recovery.

Antonio Massarutto

La riforma dei servizi pubblici locali: un cannone caricato a salve?


Fascicolo: 2 / 2008

The Reform of Italian Local Utilities: Revolution or business as usual? - The Italian Parliament has recently passed a new reform of local utilities. Compulsory competitive tendering will be the rule, while direct public management will be confined only to very special cases. The article discusses the scope of the reform and its main weaknesses: the excessive width of the focus, the uncertainty on auction design issues and the lack of a proper regulatory framework besides the tender. Policy reform recommendations are proposed with the aim of informing the next phase of the policy, namely the translation of the frame legislation into detailed regulation.

Key words: local utilities; liberalization.

JEL classifications: L9, H4

Antonio Massarutto, Francesco Di Tuccci, Alessandro Lodi

Prospettive della filiera del bioetanolo in Italia


Fascicolo: 1 / 2008

Alternative scenarios for implementing the Eu biofuels directive in Italy: the potential of bioethanol - This article discusses the perspective scenarios of the Italian market for bioethanol, face to the Eu 2003/30 directive and more generally to the world market for oil and fuels. We examine first the convenience of substituting bioethanol for gasoline; we discuss alternative scenarios for gathering ethanol to the Italian market, comparing import with internal production. We finally try to forecast the impact on the final price of gasoline for final consumption. We show that rising oil prices, more than the internalization of environmental cost, is the main driver that increases the convenience of introducing biofuels. We also argue that for the Italian market imports are actually cheaper than internal product, although this judgment might change in the future in case the world price of agricultural commodities increases and/or tropical ethanol from sugar cane will not be sufficient to satisfy demand.

Partendo dalla ricognizione delle dinamiche che hanno interessato la trasformazione dello spazio alpino negli ultimi tre decenni, il testo propone un ragionamento sulle politiche per lo sviluppo della montagna, spesso prigioniero di una logica di pura conservazione delle strutture sociali, economiche e territoriali esistenti.

cod. 365.650

Antonio Massarutto, Gilberto Muraro

Il ruolo dell'analisi economica nella Direttiva 2000/60


Fascicolo: 5-6 / 2006

The Water Framework Directive (Dir. 2000/60) introduces fundamental innovations in the management of water resources and water policies in Europe. It calls in particular for a substantial integration of economic analysis in the policymaking process, creating the scope for an expansion of economic research to this field. The article discusses the reasons guiding this innovative approach, outlines the scope and the meaning of economic analysis of water policies and discusses the relevance of economic and financial issues for the concept of water sustainability. In particular it emphasizes the need to conceive economic analysis as a circular process that accompanies water policies from the earliest possible stage and not to confine it to the issue of economic pricing and cost-benefit analysis. We outline a possible structure for the performance of economic analysis and the evaluation of economic implications of water policies in Italy and discuss the way it can be coordinated with the existing institutional framework. Finally some insights on the gaps to be filled by economic research are provided.