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The impact of voluntary programs on polluting behavior: Evidence from pollution prevention programs and toxic releases

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  • Bui, Linda T.M.
  • Kapon, Samuel

Abstract

We investigate how a class of voluntary environmental initiatives known as pollution prevention (“P2”) programs affect toxic pollution. We construct a data base of federal and state-level P2 programs and exploit variation in adoption dates and program characteristics to study their effects on facility-level releases. We find convincing evidence that these mechanisms alter polluter behavior. In particular, we find that (1) state P2 programs had a significant impact on average facility level toxic releases, reducing annual releases by 11–15%; (2) for every $100,000 of federal matching funds awarded for state P2 activities, average facility level releases in the recipient state declined on the order of 1–1.5%; (3) P2-induced reductions are significantly enhanced by information spillovers, diffused primarily via industry networks rather than geographic proximity; (4) facilities respond to technical assistance programs by reducing toxic releases, but only for substances that are not simultaneously regulated by formal command and control strategies; and (5) facilities respond to filing fees and non-reporting penalties by altering their toxic releases, but only for chemicals that are easily monitored by regulators.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 64 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 31-44

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:64:y:2012:i:1:p:31-44

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

Related research

Keywords: TRI; Information spillovers; Voluntary programs; Toxic pollution; Environmental regulation;

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References

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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Barla, Philippe, 2005. "ISO 14001 Certification and Environmental Performance in Quebec's Pulp and Paper Industry," Cahiers de recherche 0503, GREEN.
  2. David P. Baron, 2001. "Private Politics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Integrated Strategy," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 7-45, 03.
  3. Robert Innes, 2006. "A Theory of Consumer Boycotts under Symmetric Information and Imperfect Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 355-381, 04.
  4. Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti, 2006. "Did the EPA's voluntary industrial toxics program reduce emissions? A GIS analysis of distributional impacts and by-media analysis of substitution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 391-410, July.
  5. Brouhle, Keith & Griffiths, Charles & Wolverton, Ann, 2009. "Evaluating the role of EPA policy levers: An examination of a voluntary program and regulatory threat in the metal-finishing industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 166-181, March.
  6. Kim, Eun-Hee & Lyon, Thomas P., 2011. "Strategic environmental disclosure: Evidence from the DOE's voluntary greenhouse gas registry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 311-326, May.
  7. Khanna, Madhu & Damon, Lisa A., 1999. "EPA's Voluntary 33/50 Program: Impact on Toxic Releases and Economic Performance of Firms," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-25, January.
  8. Arora, Seema & Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis, 1995. "Toward a theoretical model of voluntary overcompliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 289-309, December.
  9. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2007. "Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment: A Theoretical Perspective," Working Papers 2007-16, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  10. Robert Innes & Abdoul G. Sam, 2008. "Voluntary Pollution Reductions and the Enforcement of Environmental Law: An Empirical Study of the 33/50 Program," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(2), pages 271-296, 05.
  11. Khanna, Madhu & Quimio, Wilma Rose H. & Bojilova, Dora, 1998. "Toxics Release Information: A Policy Tool for Environmental Protection," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 243-266, November.
  12. John W. Maxwell & Thomas P Lyon & Steven C.. Hackett, 1995. "Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 122, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  13. Konar, Shameek & Cohen, Mark A., 1997. "Information As Regulation: The Effect of Community Right to Know Laws on Toxic Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521860413 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Madhu Khanna & George Deltas & Donna Harrington, 2009. "Adoption of Pollution Prevention Techniques: The Role of Management Systems and Regulatory Pressures," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 85-106, September.
  16. Linda T.M. Bui & Christopher J. Mayer, . "Regulation and Capitalization of Environmental Amenities: Evidence from the Toxic Release Inventory in Massachusetts," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 348, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  17. Vidovic, Martina & Khanna, Neha, 2007. "Can voluntary pollution prevention programs fulfill their promises? Further evidence from the EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 180-195, March.
  18. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Vidovic, Martina & Khanna, Neha & Delgado, Michael S., 2013. "Third Party Certification and the Effectiveness of Voluntary Pollution Abatement Programs: Evidence from Responsible Care," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150706, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Linda T. M. Bui, 2012. "What we Know About What we Know About Toxic Polluter Behavior from the TRI: Evidence from (almost) Twenty Years of TRI Data in The Petroleum Refining Industry," Working Papers 45, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  3. Fujii, Hidemichi & Managi, Shunsuke, 2012. "Decomposition of toxic chemical substance management in three U.S. manufacturing sectors from 1991 to 2008," MPRA Paper 37550, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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