Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Environmental Justice: Do Poor and Minority Populations Face More Hazards?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Wayne B. Gray
  • Ronald J. Shadbegian
  • Ann Wolverton

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the large and expanding area of Environmental Justice (EJ). The research in this area has developed from examining relatively simple comparisons of current demographic characteristics near environmental nuisances to performing multiple regression analysis and considering demographics at the time of siting. One area that has received considerably less attention is the identification of potential mechanisms that could be driving observed EJ correlations. We extend the current literature by examining one possible mechanism: the intensity of regulatory enforcement activity. If regulators pay less attention to the environmental performance of plants located near poor and minority areas, those plants might feel less pressure to pursue pollution abatement projects, increasing environmental hazards in those areas. We perform our analysis on a sample of manufacturing plants located near four large U.S. cities: Los Angeles, Boston, Columbus, and Houston. Our analysis of regulatory activity found little evidence that demographic variables have a significant impact on the allocation of regulatory activity. In particular, regulatory activity does not seem to be less intense in plants located near particular demographic groups. It is true that plants located in minority neighborhoods are inspected less often and face fewer enforcement actions, but these effects are nearly always small and insignificant, and plants located in lower-income areas seem to face (surprisingly) more regulatory activity. In a separate analysis, we also find very little evidence that demographic variables significantly influence pollution emissions. . In summary, the results presented here do not show much evidence to support EJ concerns about either regulatory activity or pollution emissions, at least within the set of plants, pollutants, and time periods covered in our analysis.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/WPNumber/2010-10/$File/2010-10.PDF
File Function: First version, 2010
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its series NCEE Working Paper Series with number 201010.

as in new window
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision: Sep 2010
Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp201010

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20460
Phone: 202-566-2244
Web page: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/webpages/homepage
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: environmental justice; regulatory activity; enforcement; political; poor; minority;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Khemmarat, Khemrutai, 2013. "Local exposure to toxic releases: Examining the role of ethnic fractionalization and polarisation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 249-259.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp201010. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Cynthia Morgan).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.