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Do Environmental Regulations Disproportionately Affect Small Businesses? Evidence from the Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures Survey

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  • Randy A. Becker
  • Carl Pasurka, Jr.
  • Ronald J. Shadbegian

Abstract

It remains an open question whether the impact of environmental regulations differs by the size of the business. Such differences might be expected because of statutory, enforcement, and/or compliance asymmetries. Here, we consider the net effect of these three asymmetries, by estimating the relationship between plant size and pollution abatement expenditures, using establishment-level data on U.S. manufacturers from the Census Bureau’s Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) surveys of 1974-1982, 1984-1986, 1988-1994, 1999, and 2005, combined with data from the Annual Survey of Manufactures and Census of Manufactures. We model establishments’ PAOC intensity - that is, their pollution abatement operating costs per unit of economic activity - as a function of establishment size, industry, and year. Our results show that PAOC intensity increases with establishment size. We also find that larger firms spend more per unit of output than do smaller firms.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2012/CES-WP-12-25R.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 12-25r.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision: Aug 2013
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:12-25r

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Keywords: environmental regulation; costs; business size; U.S. manufacturing;

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References

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  1. Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 1997. "Environmental Regulation, Investment Timing, and Technology Choice," NBER Working Papers 6036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Eli Berman & Linda T. Bui, 1997. "Environmental Regulation and Labor Demand: Evidence from the South Coast Air Basin," Papers 0082, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Becker, Randy A., 2011. "Local environmental regulation and plant-level productivity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2516-2522.
  5. Alan Collins & Richard I. D. Harris, 2005. "The Impact Of Foreign Ownership And Efficiency On Pollution Abatement Expenditure By Chemical Plants: Some Uk Evidence," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(5), pages 747-768, November.
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  8. Ronald Shadbegian & Wayne Gray, 2003. "Pollution Abatement Expenditures and Plant-Level Productivity: A Production Function Approach," Working Papers 03-16, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Pashigian, B Peter, 1984. "The Effect of Environmental Regulation on Optimal Plant Size and Factor Shares," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, April.
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  15. Madden, David, 2006. "Sample Selection Versus Two-Part Models Revisited: The Case of Female Smoking and Drinking," Papers HRBWP23, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
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  17. Randy A. Becker, 2011. "On Spatial Heterogeneity in Environmental Compliance Costs," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(1), pages 28-44.
  18. Eli Berman & Linda T.M. Bui, 1998. "Environmental Regulation and Productivity: Evidence from Oil Refineries," NBER Working Papers 6776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Eli Berman & Linda T. Bui, 1997. "band Labor Demand: Evidence from the South Coast Air Basin," NBER Working Papers 6299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," Working Papers 10-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  23. Randy A. Becker & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2004. "A Change of PACE: Comparing the 1994 and 1999 Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures Surveys," NCEE Working Paper Series 200408, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jul 2004.
  24. Dean, Thomas J. & Brown, Robert L. & Stango, Victor, 2000. "Environmental Regulation as a Barrier to the Formation of Small Manufacturing Establishments: A Longitudinal Examination," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 56-75, July.
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  27. Andrew M. Jones, 2012. "health econometrics," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
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  32. Alan Collins & Richard I. D. Harris, 2002. "Does Plant Ownership Affect the Level of Pollution Abatement Expenditure?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(2), pages 171-189.
  33. Raymond Hartman & David Wheeler & Manjula Singh, 1997. "The cost of air pollution abatement," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(6), pages 759-774.
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