This paper analyzes liability issues in the context of internationally traded goods like hazardous waste. If waste disposers of a small open economy are judgement-proof, then the extension of liability to waste exporters distorts the factor allocation and may reduce disposal care. Hence the optimal extension is partial at most. However, extending liability increases incentives of the waste importing country to hold domestic disposers liable. Interaction through the price system and through contracts that condition payments for disposal services on the occurrence of an accident yield identical outcomes if disposers are judgement-proof.
extended liability hazardous waste trade externalities moral hazard