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Does regulation stimulate productivity? The effect of air quality policies on the efficiency of US power plants

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Author Info

  • Fleishman, Rachel
  • Alexander, Rob
  • Bretschneider, Stuart
  • Popp, David

Abstract

This research examines the effect of air quality regulations on the productivity of US power plants based on both economic and environmental outputs. Using data envelopment analysis (DEA) to estimate an efficiency measure incorporating both economic and environmental outcomes, we look at changes in efficiency in US power plants over an eleven-year time period (1994-2004) during which several different regulations were implemented for the control of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The paper then models how estimated efficiency behaves over time as a function of regulatory changes. Findings suggest mixed effects of regulations on power plant efficiency when pollution abatement and electricity generation are both included as outputs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 4574-4582

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:11:p:4574-4582

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

Related research

Keywords: Data envelopment analysis Air pollution Regulation;

References

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  1. Pun-Lee Lam & Alice Shiu, 2004. "Efficiency and Productivity of China's Thermal Power Generation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 73-93, 02.
  2. Ronald J. Shadbegian and Wayne B. Gray, 2005. "Assessing Multi-Dimensional Performance: Environmental and Economic Outcomes," NCEE Working Paper Series 200505, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jun 2005.
  3. Shadbegian, Ronald J. & Gray, Wayne B., 2005. "Pollution abatement expenditures and plant-level productivity: A production function approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 196-208, August.
  4. Eli Berman & Linda T.M. Bui, 1998. "Environmental Regulation and Productivity: Evidence from Oil Refineries," Papers 0091, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  5. M N, Murty & Kumar, Surender & Dhavala, Kishore, 2006. "Measuring Environmental Efficiency of Industry: A Case Study of Thermal Power Generation in India," MPRA Paper 1693, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Olatubi, Williams O. & Dismukes, David E., 2000. "A data envelopment analysis of the levels and determinants of coal-fired electric power generation performance," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 47-59, June.
  7. Gale Boyd & George Tolley & Joseph Pang, 2002. "Plant Level Productivity, Efficiency, and Environmental Performance of the Container Glass Industry," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 29-43, September.
  8. Ronald J Shadbegian & Wayne B Gray, 2003. "What Determines Environmental Performance at Paper Mills? The Roles of Abatement Spending, Regulation, and Efficiency," Working Papers 03-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Michael Greenstone, 2002. "The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Industrial Activity: Evidence from the 1970 and 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1175-1219, December.
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  12. Aiken, Deborah Vaughn & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 2003. "Adjusting the measurement of US manufacturing productivity for air pollution emissions control," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 329-351, October.
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  14. Boyd, Gale A. & McClelland, John D., 1999. "The Impact of Environmental Constraints on Productivity Improvement in Integrated Paper Plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 121-142, September.
  15. Gollop, Frank M & Roberts, Mark J, 1983. "Environmental Regulations and Productivity Growth: The Case of Fossil-Fueled Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 654-74, August.
  16. J.B. Smith & W A. Sims, 1985. "The Impact of Pollution Charges on Productivity Growth in Canadian Brewing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 410-423, Autumn.
  17. Fare, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna & Tyteca, Daniel, 1996. "An activity analysis model of the environmental performance of firms--application to fossil-fuel-fired electric utilities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 161-175, August.
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  19. Fare, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 2007. "Pollution abatement activities and traditional productivity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 673-682, May.
  20. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Shimamoto, Kenichi, 2005. "Industrial characteristics, environmental regulations and air pollution: an analysis of the UK manufacturing sector," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 121-143, July.
  21. Rolf Färe & Shawna Grosskopf & Carl Pasurka, 2006. "Social responsibility: U.S. power plants 1985–1998," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 259-267, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Zhou, Yan & Xing, Xinpeng & Fang, Kuangnan & Liang, Dapeng & Xu, Chunlin, 2013. "Environmental efficiency analysis of power industry in China based on an entropy SBM model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 68-75.
  2. Linn, Joshua & Mastrangelo, Erin & Burtraw, Dallas, 2013. "Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Coal Power Plants under the Clean Air Act," Discussion Papers dp-13-05, Resources For the Future.
  3. Jaraite, Jurate & Di Maria, Corrado, 2011. "Efficiency, Productivity and Environmental Policy: A Case Study of Power Generation in the EU," CERE Working Papers 2011:3, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics.

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