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The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Industrial Activity: Evidence from the 1970 & 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Census of Manufactures

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  • Michael Greenstone

Abstract

This paper estimates the effects of environmental regulations on industrial activity. The analysis is conducted with the most comprehensive data available on both regulations from the Clean Air Act Amendments' division of counties into pollutant-specific nonattainment and attainment categories and manufacturing activity from the 1.75 million plant observations that comprise the 1967-87 Censuses of Manufactures. Emitters of the controlled pollutants are subject to greater regulatory oversight in nonattainment counties. I find that in the first 15 years after the Amendments became law (1972- 1987), nonattainment counties (relative to attainment ones) lost approximately 590,000 jobs, $37 billion in capital stock, and $75 billion (1987$) of output in pollution intensive industries. These estimates are derived from a statistical model for plant-level growth that controls for plant fixed effects, unrestricted industry shocks, and unrestricted county shocks. Importantly these findings are robust across many specifications, and the effects are apparent across a wide range of polluting industries. Although the decline in manufacturing activity was substantial in nonattainment counties, it was modest compared to the size of the entire manufacturing sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8484.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
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Publication status: published as Greenstone, Michael. "The Impacts Of Environmental Regulations On Industrial Activity: Evidence From The 1970 And 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments And The Census Of Manufactures," Journal of Political Economy, 2002, v110(6,Dec), 1175-1219.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8484

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  1. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
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  8. Carlo Carraro & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2000. "Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy Introduction," NBER Working Papers 7648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Eli Berman & Linda T. M. Bui, 2001. "Environmental Regulation And Productivity: Evidence From Oil Refineries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 498-510, August.
  10. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Plant Turnover and Gross Employment Flows in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 48-71, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Sahu, Santosh Kumar & Narayanan, K., 2013. "Exports and Participation in Clean Development Mechanism [CDM] in Technology Intensive Industries in India," MPRA Paper 50745, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Baomin Dong & Jiong Gong & Xin Zhao, 2012. "FDI and environmental regulation: pollution haven or a race to the top?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 216-237, April.
  3. Matthew Cole & Robert Elliott & Joanne Lindley, 2009. "Dirty money: Is there a wage premium for working in a pollution intensive industry?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 161-180, October.
  4. Levinson, Arik, 2003. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 91-106, March.
  5. Davide Antonioli & Massimiliano Mazzanti, 2009. "Techno-organisational strategies, environmental innovations and economic performances. Micro-evidence from an SME-based industrial district," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(1), pages 145-168.
  6. Arik Levinson and M. Scott Taylor, 2004. "Unmasking the Pollution Haven Hypothesis," Working Papers gueconwpa~04-04-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.

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