The Role of Risk Perception and Collaborative Management in Explaining Stringent Municipal Regulations - The Israeli Air Pollution Case Study

Dorit Kerret and Gila Menahem

What influences municipalities to proactively enact more stringent environmental standards relative to the central state’s stipulated requirements? What is the role of environmental need (risk) in determining the level of action? And what is the relationship between objective risk indicators and subjectively perceived ones? Does Collaborative Management (CM) at the local level influence the stringency of local environmental legislation? This paper employs SEM analysis combining survey data from all municipalities in Israel with an analysis of local bylaws to address these questions. Doing so enables us to contribute the following insights to the research literature. First, we add to the thin extant literature on the role of municipalities in addressing environmental problems and construct a model of factors affecting stringent environmental regulation. Second, the study extends the very small number of non- US studies regarding environmental outputs in municipalities. Third, our study answers the call to investigate conditions under which CM enhances environmental achievements. Fourth, the study further contributes to understanding the importance of perceived risk for explaining local environmental policies and how they are influenced by CM. The results demonstrate the important role of both perceived risk and CM in influencing the stringency of local environmental regulation.