Pollution Abatement Costs, Regulation, and Plant-Level Productivity
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 1990, considering both total factor productivity levels and growth rates. Plants with higher abatement cost levels have significantly lower productivity levels. The magnitude of the impact is somewhat larger than expected: $1 greater abatement costs appears to be associated with the equivalent of $1.74 in lower productivity for paper mills, $1.35 for oil refineries, and $3.28 for steel mills. However, these results apply only to variation across plants in productivity levels. Estimates looking at productivity variation within plants over time, or estimates using productivity growth rates show a smaller (and insignificant) relationship between abatement costs and productivity. Other measures of environmental regulation faced by the plants (compliance status, enforcement activity, and emissions) are not significantly related to productivity.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4994.
Date of creation: Jan 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Gray, Wayne B. (ed.) Economic costs and consequences of environmental regulation, International Library of Environmental Economics and Policy. Aldershot, U.K. and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, Dartmouth, 2002.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
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Other versions of this item:
- Wayne B Gray & Ronald J Shadbegian, 1994. "Pollution Abatement Costs, Regulation And Plant-Level Productivity," Working Papers 94-14, 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
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