Cover: Superfund and Transaction Costs - The Experiences of Insurers and Very Large Industrial Firms

Superfund and Transaction Costs - The Experiences of Insurers and Very Large Industrial Firms

Published 1992

by Lloyd Dixon

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Lloyd Dixon, a RAND economist, recently testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Public Works and Transportation regarding transaction costs involved in the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. Transaction costs are those that do not contribute directly to the understanding or cleanup of a site. Insurer transaction costs, he stated, were high: 88% of the total expenditures. They were split between coverage disputes and defense of policyholders. For large firms who were potentially responsible parties (PRPs), transaction costs, primarily for legal counsel, averaged 21% of total outlays, but decreased proportionally as cleanup progressed. These costs varied across sites, averaging 7% of the total where only a single PRP was involved and 39% where multiple PRPs were. Dixon concluded his testimony by suggesting that these facts may not tell much about the future, since insurance coverage issues are still unresolved, PRPs involved in cleanup may yet sue non-participating PRPs, and insurers may pursue their reinsurers as their own losses mount.

This report is part of the RAND testimony series. RAND testimonies record testimony presented by RAND associates to federal, state, or local legislative committees; government-appointed commissions and panels; and private review and oversight bodies.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.