Evaluating government intervention | tutor2u Economics

Listening to Radio 4's 'Yesterday in Parliament' this morning, I heard a 4-minute report about a debate around what can be done to cure the issue of fly tipping in rural and urban England. This strikes me as a very good stimulus to analyse and evaluate the best form of government intervention to prevent negative externalities of consumption (- although I guess it could be taken as negative externalities of production as well). 

Fly-tipping is the illegal disposal of household, industrial, commercial or other 'controlled' waste without a waste management licence

It is pretty well timed for most students at the moment, as they prepare for exam questions along the lines of 'Evaluate different methods of government intervention to reduce negative externalities caused by fly tipping' or 'To what extent do you agree that fines for fly tipping are the best way of reducing the negative externalities that it causes'. 

The video and radio reports below suggest a number of different issues from the Economics syllabus, including behavioural economics (herd behaviour, and using nudge techniques to change that behaviour), the cost and practicality of enforcement of regulations, and unintended consequences of introducing charges for 'legal' disposal of household goods such as furniture and fridges.

Here are a couple of video reports about the issue, one looking at the blight of fly tipping at a rural beauty spot near Merthyr Tydfil, and one looking at the problems in the London boroughs of Harrow, Wandsworth and Ealing. The radio report about the parliamentary debate, which summarises the problem and suggests a variety of different solutions, can be heard from this broadcast, starting at 19.45 minutes - but will only be available for the next 29 days, unfortunately  - use it or lose it!

Subscribe to email updates from the tutor2u Economics

Join 1000s of fellow Economics teachers and students all getting the tutor2u Economics team's latest resources and support delivered fresh in their inbox every morning.

You can also follow @tutor2uEconomics on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or join our popular Facebook Groups.

Job board

Teacher of Economics

Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge


Related Collections

Teaching Vacancies


Advertise your vacancies with tutor2u

Much cheaper & more effective than TES or the Guardian. Reach the audience you really want to apply for your teaching vacancy by posting directly to our website and related social media audiences.

Find our more ›

Advertise your teaching jobs with tutor2u

A New Home for tutor2u Resources

We've just flicked the switch on moving all our digital resources to instant digital download - via our new subject stores.

For every subject you can now access each digital resource as soon as it is ordered. This will always be the latest edition of each resource too (and we'll update you automatically if there is an upgraded version to use).

Simply add the required resources to your cart, checkout using the usual options and your resources will be available to access immediately via your mytutor2u account.