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Letting States Do the Dirty Work: State Responsibility for Federal Environmental Regulation

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  • Sigman, Hilary

Abstract

Under most U.S. environmental regulations, the federal government shares responsibility with the states by authorizing them to implement and enforce federal policies. Authorization provides states with considerable discretion over the effects of regulation and is perhaps the most significant decentralization in U.S. environmental policy. However, few studies address its role. To fill this gap, this paper explores the empirical determinants of authorization for water pollution and hazardous waste regulation. Although no single hypothesis strongly explains authorization, I find some evidence that states authorize to increase the stringency of regulation, which suggests that environmental decentralization would be beneficial.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 56 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 107-22

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:56:y:2003:i:1:p:107-22

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  1. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  2. Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2002. "Optimal Pollution Abatement - Whose Benefits Matter, and How Much?," NBER Working Papers 9125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: a Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2495, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Koleman S. Strumpf & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 2002. "Endogenous Policy Decentralization: Testing the Central Tenet of Economic Federalism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-36, February.
  5. Eric Helland & Andrew B. Whitford, . "Pollution Incidence and Political Jurisdiction: Evidence from the TRI," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-28, Claremont Colleges.
  6. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  7. Oates, Wallace, 2001. "A Reconsideration of Environmental Federalism," Discussion Papers dp-01-54, Resources For the Future.
  8. Helland, Eric, 1998. "The Revealed Preferences of State EPAs: Stringency, Enforcement, and Substitution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 242-261, May.
  9. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
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Cited by:
  1. James Alm & H. Spencer Banzhaf, 2012. "Designing Economic Instruments For The Environment In A Decentralized Fiscal System," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 177-202, 04.
  2. Sigman, Hilary, 2005. "Transboundary spillovers and decentralization of environmental policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 82-101, July.
  3. Hilary Sigman, 2007. "Decentralization and Environmental Quality: An International Analysis of Water Pollution," NBER Working Papers 13098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bowman Cutter, W. & DeShazo, J.R., 2007. "The environmental consequences of decentralizing the decision to decentralize," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 32-53, January.
  5. Michelle Pautz & Sara Rinfret, 2011. "Making sense of the front lines: environmental regulators in Ohio and Wisconsin," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 277-288, December.
  6. Chang, Howard F. & Sigman, Hilary & Traub, Leah G., 2014. "Endogenous decentralization in federal environmental policies," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 39-50.
  7. Arik Levinson, 2002. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evident," Working Papers gueconwpa~02-02-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.

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