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Do Environmental Audits Improve Long-term Compliance? Evidence from Manufacturing Facilities in Michigan

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  • Sarah L. Stafford

    ()
    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

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    Abstract

    The role of compliance assistance in the U.S. EPA’s overall enforcement strategy has been quite variable over the past decade and a half, increasing in prominence under the Bush administration and now slated for significantly reduced funding under the Obama administration. While many theoretical models and anecdotal evidence suggest that compliance assistance should play some role in a comprehensive enforcement strategy, to date there has been relatively little empirical evidence on the actual effectiveness of existing compliance assistance programs. To help inform the debate over the appropriate use of compliance assistance, this paper uses data on hazardous waste generators nationwide to assess the effect of federal compliance assistance programs in improving compliance with hazardous waste regulations. The paper also conducts a direct empirical analysis of the relationship between traditional enforcement tools and compliance assistance. The results show that federal compliance assistance efforts do increase compliance, but the evidence does not suggest any specific relationship between traditional enforcement and compliance assistance. Also, while states do not appear to substitute federal compliance assistance for traditional enforcement, state compliance assistance programs do appear to decrease the likelihood of inspections among the smallest hazardous waste generators.

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    File URL: http://economics.wm.edu/wp/cwm_wp117.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 117.

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    Length: 35 pages
    Date of creation: 26 Sep 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:117

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    Postal: P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
    Phone: (757) 221-4311
    Fax: (757) 221-2390
    Web page: http://www.wm.edu/economics/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Environmental Regulation; Enforcement; Compliance Assistance;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. William H. Greene, 1992. "A Statistical Model for Credit Scoring," Working Papers 92-29, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    2. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Raymond J. Burby & Robert G. Paterson, 1993. "Improving compliance with state environmental regulations," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(4), pages 753-772.
    4. Heyes, Anthony, 2000. "Implementing Environmental Regulation: Enforcement and Compliance," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 107-29, March.
    5. Wayne B. Gray & Jay P. Shimshack, 2011. "The Effectiveness of Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement: A Review of the Empirical Evidence," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dietrich Earnhart, 2013. "Effect of Systems to Manage Environmental Aspects on Environmental Performance," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(6), pages 2557-2588, June.

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