Aachen’s Policies on Air Pollution: A Law and Economics Analysis

  • Mareike Moraal University College Maastricht, Maastricht University
Keywords: pollution control, market-based, command-and-control, low emission zone


This article compares the merits of two opposing air pollution policies in Aachen through a law and economics approach. Based on Cole’s property rights regimes, the current Aachener Approach and the soon to replace it Low Emission Zone (LEZ) are characterized as incentive-based and command-and-control regulation respectively, and subsequently evaluated on their efficiency and effectiveness using local government reports and legislation, and theoretical law and economics literature. This cost-benefit analysis shows the LEZ to be less efficient and of questionable effectivity in achieving reduction of air pollution levels compared to the current Aachener Approach.