From the WSJ economics: micro weekly review:
The Right to Dry: A Green Movement Is Roiling America
by Anne Marie Chaker
Sep 18, 2007
TOPICS: Environmental Regulation, Externalities
SUMMARY: In an Oregon neighborhood, people who want to dry their laundry on a clothesline are fighting community rules that prohibit doing so. The battle is an unanticipated consequence of increasing environmental consciousness.
CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This article offers a good example of a tradeoff between two externalities: the unsightliness of laundry hung outside and the carbon emissions of generating electricity to operate clothes dryers.
1.) Why do communities ban residents from drying clothes on clotheslines?
2.) What is the Coase Theorem? Discuss the possible inefficiency of bans on clotheslines in the context of the Coase Theorem.
3.) Pollution and carbon emissions are harmful and, to some, clothes on clotheslines are unsightly. Discuss the tradeoff between the externalities created operating clothes dryers and hanging wash on clotheslines.