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Do EPA Regulations Affect Labor Demand? Evidence from the Pulp and Paper Industry

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  • Ronald J. Shadbegian
  • Wayne B. Gray
  • Chumbei Wang
  • Merve Cebi

Abstract

Many believe that environmental regulation must reduce employment, since regulations are expected to increase production costs, raising prices and reducing demand for output. A careful microeconomic analysis shows that this not guaranteed. Even if environmental regulation reduces output in the regulated industry, abating pollution could require additional labor (e.g. to monitor the abatement capital and meet EPA reporting requirements). Pollution abatement technologies could also be labor enhancing. In this paper we analyze how a particular EPA regulation, the “Cluster Rule” (CR) imposed on the pulp and paper industry in 2001, affected employment in that sector. Using establishment level data from the Census of Manufacturers and Annual Survey of Manufacturers at the U.S. Census Bureau from 1992-2007 we find evidence of small employment declines (on the order of 3%-7%), sometimes statistically significant, at a subset of the plants covered by the CR.

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File URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/WPNumber/2013-03/$File/2013-03.PDF
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its series NCEE Working Paper Series with number 201303.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision: Aug 2013
Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp201303

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Keywords: Cluster Rule; regulatory costs; multimedia regulation; employment effects;

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  1. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, Ronald J., 2003. "Plant vintage, technology, and environmental regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 384-402, November.
  2. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Wayne B Gray & Ronald J Shadbegian, 1997. "Environmental Regulation, Investment Timing, and Technology Choice," Working Papers 97-9, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Laplante, Benoit & Rilstone, Paul, 1996. "Environmental Inspections and Emissions of the Pulp and Paper Industry in Quebec," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 19-36, July.
  5. Morgenstern, Richard D. & Pizer, William A. & Shih, Jhih-Shyang, 2002. "Jobs Versus the Environment: An Industry-Level Perspective," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 412-436, May.
  6. Ronald Shadbegian & Wayne Gray, 2005. "Assessing Multi-Dimensional Performance: Environmental and Economic Outcomes," Working Papers 05-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Eli Berman & Linda T.M. Bui, 1998. "Environmental Regulation and Productivity: Evidence from Oil Refineries," NBER Working Papers 6776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  9. Ronald J. Shadbegian & Wayne B. Gray, 2003. "Pollution Abatement Expenditures and Plant-Level Productivity: A Production Function Approach," NCEE Working Paper Series 200305, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2003.
  10. Berman, Eli & Bui, Linda T. M., 2001. "Environmental regulation and labor demand: evidence from the South Coast Air Basin," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 265-295, February.
  11. Boyd, Gale A. & McClelland, John D., 1999. "The Impact of Environmental Constraints on Productivity Improvement in Integrated Paper Plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 121-142, September.
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