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Measuring The Impact Of The Toxics Release Inventory: Evidence From Manufacturing Plant Births

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  • Nicholas E. Powers
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    Abstract

    The Toxics Release Inventory was the first major initiative to take a disclosurebased approach to environmental regulation and has served as the model for several other disclosure-based environmental policies. Yet the magnitude of its direct impacts on industrial manufacturing outcomes has not been established. I use Census Bureau micro-data to estimate the impacts of the Toxics Release Inventory on the opening of new manufacturing plants. I find that on average, counties that were found to be among the dirtiest in the country, in terms of toxic emissions, experienced a decrease in “dirty” plant births and an even larger increase in “clean” plant births. Furthermore, the magnitude of this shift is closely related to per capita income in the affected coun- ties - the effect is strongest in high-income communities and is reversed in low-income communities. I discuss the implications for information-based environmental policies.

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    File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2013/CES-WP-13-07.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2013
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 13-07.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:13-07

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    Related research

    Keywords: Firm heterogeneity; microdata; quality; trade; unit value.;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    1. John A. List & Daniel L. Millimet & Per G. Fredriksson & W. Warren McHone, 2003. "Effects of Environmental Regulations on Manufacturing Plant Births: Evidence from a Propensity Score Matching Estimator," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 944-952, November.
    2. Powers, Nicholas & Blackman, Allen & Lyon, Thomas P. & Narain, Urvashi, 2008. "Does Disclosure Reduce Pollution? Evidence from India's Green Rating Project," Discussion Papers dp-08-38, Resources For the Future.
    3. Magali Delmas & Maria Montes-Sancho & Jay P. Shimshack, 2007. "Information Disclosure Policies: Evidence from the Electricity Industry," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0707, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    4. Linda T. M. Bui & Christopher J. Mayer, 2003. "Regulation and Capitalization of Environmental Amenities: Evidence from the Toxic Release Inventory in Massachusetts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 693-708, August.
    5. Randy Becker, 2001. "Air Pollution Abatement Costs Under the Clean Air Act: Evidence from the PACE Survey," Working Papers 01-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. 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.
    7. Tom Tietenberg, 1998. "Disclosure Strategies for Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 587-602, April.
    8. Fredriksson, Per G. & List, John A. & Millimet, Daniel L., 2003. "Bureaucratic corruption, environmental policy and inbound US FDI: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1407-1430, August.
    9. Jorge García & Shakeb Afsah & Thomas Sterner, 2009. "Which Firms are More Sensitive to Public Disclosure Schemes for Pollution Control? Evidence from Indonesia’s PROPER Program," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(2), pages 151-168, February.
    10. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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