Environmental Regulation and Manufacturing Productivity at the Plant Level
AbstractWe analyze the connection between productivity, pollution abatement expenditures, and other measures of environmental regulation for plants in three industries (paper, oil, and steel). We examine data from 1979 to 1985, considering, both labor and total factor productivity, both levels and growth rates, and both annual measures and averages over the period. We find a strong connection between regulation and productivity when regulation is measured by compliance costs. More regulated plants have significantly lower productivity levels and slower productivity growth rates than less regulated plants. The magnitude of the impacts are larger than expected: a $1 increase in compliance costs appears to reduce TFP by the equivalent of $3 to $4. Thus, commonly used methods of calculating the impact of regulation on productivity are substantially underestimated. Other measures of regulation (compliance status, enforcement activity, and emissions) show much less consistent results. Higher enforcement, lower compliance, and higher emissions are generally associated with lower productivity levels and slower productivity growth, but the coefficients are rarely significant.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4321.
Date of creation: Apr 1993
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Other versions of this item:
- Wayne B Gray & Ronald J Shadbegian, 1993. "Environmental Regulation And Manufacturing Productivity At The Plant Level," Working Papers 93-6, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2001-06-08 (All new papers)
- NEP-EFF-2001-06-08 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-ENE-2001-06-08 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2001-06-08 (Environmental Economics)
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