Cost benefit analysis of the sulfur dioxide emissions control policy in Japan

Ikuho Kochi, Shunji Matsuoka, Mushtaq Ahmed Memon, Hiroaki Shirakawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study attempted to examine the economic efficiency of the sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions control policy in Japan using a cost-benefit analysis (CBA). The SO2 emissions control policy is divided into three stages by epochal policy decisions. Reducing the incidence of chronic bronchitis and asthma are the two main policy benefits considered in this study, and they are estimated mainly based on the cost of illness approach. Policy costs have been derived from private sector investments for pollution control to meet the pollution standards under command and control (CAC) regulations. The estimated results, using a social discount rate of 2.5%, indicate a cost-benefit ratio of 5.39 in stage 1 (1968-1973), 1.18 in stage 2 (1974-1983), and 0.41 in stage 3 (1984-1993). This result indicates that the CAC in Japan used to have strong efficiency but that this efficiency has decreased over time. Our paper suggests that it is necessary to reconsider policy approaches in light of policy efficiency and in moving from SO2 to new target priority pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-233
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Economics and Policy Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jan 1



  • CBA
  • Cost of illness
  • Japan
  • SO emissions
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this