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Local Exposure to Toxic Releases: Does Ethnic Diversity Matter?

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  • Matthew A Cole
  • Robert J R Elliott
  • Khemrutai Khemmarat

Abstract

This paper examines the role played by community characteristics in influencing local environmental quality, focusing specifically on ethnic diversity. In contrast to the previous literature, this study argues that it is the fractionalization and/or polarization of ethnic groups that is the relevant consideration, rather than the population share of ethnic minorities, since such diversity may significantly increase the difficulty of co-ordinating community action. Using toxic release data for the period 1990-1995 and, for the first time, 2000-2005, we find that measures of ethnic diversity do indeed influence local toxic release emissions. This finding persists across a range of robustness exercises.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/1029.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 10-29.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:10-29

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Postal: Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk
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Keywords: pollution; ethnic diversity; fractionalization; polarization; community characteristics; environmental justice;

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