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Evaluating the role of EPA policy levers: An examination of a voluntary program and regulatory threat in the metal-finishing industry

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  • Brouhle, Keith
  • Griffiths, Charles
  • Wolverton, Ann

Abstract

In this paper, we evaluate the influence of two environmental policy levers on emissions in the metal-finishing industry: a voluntary program--the Strategic Goals Program (SGP)--and the threat of formal regulation. While voluntary approaches are increasingly utilized as policy tools, the effectiveness of such programs is often questioned, and the impact of a voluntary program in tandem with a regulatory threat is not well understood. We examine the decision to participate in the SGP and, conditional on that decision, determine the effects that the SGP and regulatory threat had on facility emissions behavior. Participation in the program appears related to several forms of external pressure: the regulatory threat, industry trade association membership, the level of environmental giving in a state, and a number of neighborhood characteristics. However, over the entire study period, participation in the SGP yielded little, if any, additional reductions in emissions, while the regulatory threat is correlated with significant emission reductions by both participants and non-participants. Splitting our study period into two time periods reveals a more nuanced relationship between SGP participation and emissions behavior than is evident over the entire study period. While participants do not appear to take advantage of the program initially, they make greater strides in reducing emissions than non-participants in later years. The split sample results also indicate that both participants and non-participants react strongly to the initial threat of regulation and to an increase in its relative stringency.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 57 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 166-181

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:57:y:2009:i:2:p:166-181

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

Related research

Keywords: Voluntary programs Pollution control Regulatory threat Policy evaluation;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lange, Ian, 2008. "Evaluating Voluntary Measures with Spillovers: The Case of Coal Combustion Products Partnership," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers, University of Stirling, Division of Economics 2008-24, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  2. Pelin Demirel & Effie Kesidou, 2012. "Stimulating Different Types of Eco-Innovation in the UK: Government Policies and Firm Motivations," STPS Working Papers, STPS - Science and Technology Policy Studies Center, Middle East Technical University 1203, STPS - Science and Technology Policy Studies Center, Middle East Technical University, revised May 2012.
  3. Harrington, Donna Ramirez, 2012. "Two-stage adoption of different types of pollution prevention (P2) activities," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 349-373.
  4. Andreas Ferrara and Ian Lange, 2014. "Voluntary Programs to Encourage Diffusion: The Case of the Combined Heat-and-Power Partnership," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
  5. Bryden, Anna & Petticrew, Mark & Mays, Nicholas & Eastmure, Elizabeth & Knai, Cecile, 2013. "Voluntary agreements between government and business—A scoping review of the literature with specific reference to the Public Health Responsibility Deal," Health Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 186-197.
  6. Patricia Crifo & Vanina Forget, 2013. "La responsabilité sociale et environnementale des entreprises : mirage ou virage ?," Working Papers, HAL hal-00830642, HAL.
  7. Fisher-Vanden, Karen & Thorburn, Karin S, 2008. "Voluntary Corporate Environmental Initiatives and Shareholder Wealth," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6698, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Shanti Gamper-Rabindran & Stephen Finger, 2013. "Does industry self-regulation reduce pollution? Responsible Care in the chemical industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 1-30, January.
  9. Patricia Crifo & Vanina Forget, 2012. "The Economics of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Survey," Working Papers, HAL hal-00720640, HAL.
  10. Donna Ramirez Harrington, 2013. "Effectiveness Of State Pollution Prevention Programs And Policies," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 255-278, 04.
  11. Linda T. M. Bui & Samuel Kapon, 2010. "The Impact of Voluntary Programs on Polluting Behavior: Evidence from Pollution Prevention Programs and Toxic Releases," Working Papers, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School 40, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School, revised Nov 2011.
  12. Brouhle, Keith & Graham, Brad & Harrington, Donna Ramirez, 2013. "Innovation under the Climate Wise program," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 91-112.

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