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Robust inference concerning recent trends in US environmental quality

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  • Daniel L. Millimet

    (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA)

  • Esfandiar Maasoumi

    (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA)

Abstract

Understanding trends in environmental quality is important for individuals and policymakers. Typically, trends in environmental quality are determined solely through comparisons of unconditional or conditional mean pollution levels. However, reaching unambiguous conclusions on the basis of only the first moment of the (unconditional or conditional) distribution is problematic since it ignores what is occurring in different regions of the distribution. Even relying on indices that incorporate both mean and variance is suspect to the extent that relative rankings are not typically robust to index choice. Addressing these concerns, we adapt recent developments in the stochastic dominance literature to test for unambiguous relations between current and past distributions of toxic releases. Using EPA data from 1988-1999, we find statistically significant evidence that the unconditional 1999 distributions of air, land, underground and total toxic releases dominate in a first-degree sense their respective 1988 distributions. While some of this improvement is explained by economic growth, pollution net-of-income improved over the sample period as well. Finally, we document robust differences in the distribution of pollution across regions in the US. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 55-77

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:20:y:2005:i:1:p:55-77

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  1. John A. Bishop & John P. Formby & W. James Smith, 1993. "International Comparisons of Welfare and Poverty: Dominance Orderings for Ten Countries," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 707-26, August.
  2. Linton, Oliver & Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Whang, Yoon-Jae, 2003. "Consistent Testing for Stochastic Dominance under General Sampling Schemes," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,31, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  3. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey, 1997. "Making the Most Out of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting for Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535, October.
  4. Joseph G. Hirschberg & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Daniel J. Slottje, 2001. "Clusters of attributes and well-being in the USA," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 445-460.
  5. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald, 2003. "Consistent Tests for Stochastic Dominance," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 71-104, January.
  6. Abadie A., 2002. "Bootstrap Tests for Distributional Treatment Effects in Instrumental Variable Models," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 284-292, March.
  7. Matthew E. Kahn, 1998. "The Silver Lining of Rust Belt Manufacturing Decline," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1828, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Heshmati, Almas & Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 1998. "Stochastic Dominance Amongst Swedish Income Distributions," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 279, Stockholm School of Economics.
  9. Arora Seema & Cason Timothy N., 1995. "An Experiment in Voluntary Environmental Regulation: Participation in EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 271-286, May.
  10. Daniel L. Millimet & John A. List & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Real Progress or Misspecified Models?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1038-1047, November.
  11. Pashigian, B Peter, 1985. "Environmental Regulation: Whose Self-interests Are Being Protected?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(4), pages 551-84, October.
  12. Fisher, Gordon & Willson, Douglas & Xu, Kuan, 1998. "An empirical analysis of term premiums using significance tests for stochastic dominance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 195-203, August.
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  14. Bishop, John A. & Formby, John P. & Zeager, Lester A., 2000. "The effect of food stamp cashout on undernutrition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 75-85, April.
  15. repec:cup:etheor:v:10:y:1994:i:5:p:849-66 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Timothy K.M. Beatty & Jay P. Shimshack & Michael B. Ward, 2005. "Are Mercury Advisories Effective? Information, Education, and Fish Consumption," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0502, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Oliver Linton & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2004. "Consistent testing for stochastic dominance: a subsampling approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24755, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Daniel L. Millimet & Dipanwita Sarkar, 2008. "Who Benefits from Marriage?," Emory Economics 0807, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  4. Chintrakarn, Pandej & Millimet, Daniel L., 2006. "The environmental consequences of trade: Evidence from subnational trade flows," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 430-453, July.
  5. Eren, Ozkan & Millimet, Daniel, 2005. "Time to Learn? The Organizational Structure of Schools and Student Achievement," Departmental Working Papers 0506, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  6. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Millimet, Daniel & Sarkar, Dipanwita, 2005. "The Distribution of Returns to Marriage," Departmental Working Papers 0503, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  7. Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Dimitrios Kapetanakis, 2009. "Lessons from Quantile Panel Estimation of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Working Papers 2010-4, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  8. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Heshmati, Almas, 2005. "Evaluating Dominance Ranking of PSID Incomes by Various Household Attributes," IZA Discussion Papers 1727, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Millimet, Daniel & Wang, Le, 2005. "Is the Quantity-Quality Trade-off Really a Trade-off for All?," Departmental Working Papers 0502, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.

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