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Letting States Do the Dirty Work: State Responsibility for Federal Environmental Regulation

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  • Hilary Sigman

    ()
    (Rutgers University)

Abstract

Under most U.S. environmental regulations, the federal government shares responsibility with the states by authorizing them to implement and enforce federal policies. Authorization provides states with considerable discretion over the effects of regulation and is perhaps the most significant decentralization in U.S. environmental policy. However, few studies address its role. To fill this gap, this paper explores the empirical determinants of authorization for water pollution and hazardous waste regulation. No single hypothesis strongly explains authorization, but I find some evidence that states authorize to increase the stringency of regulation. This evidence points to desirable effects of decentralization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 200228.

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Date of creation: 26 Nov 2002
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Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200228

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Keywords: Environmental policy; Federalism; Hazardous waste; Intergovernmental relations; Water pollution;

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References

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  1. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1999. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: A Political Economy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  3. Koleman S. Strumpf & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 2002. "Endogenous Policy Decentralization: Testing the Central Tenet of Economic Federalism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-36, February.
  4. Eric Helland & Andrew B. Whitford, . "Pollution Incidence and Political Jurisdiction: Evidence from the TRI," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2002-28, Claremont Colleges.
  5. Oates, Wallace, 2001. "A Reconsideration of Environmental Federalism," Discussion Papers dp-01-54, Resources For the Future.
  6. Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2002. "‘Optimal’ Pollution Abatement – Whose Benefits Matter, and How Much?," NCEE Working Paper Series 200205, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Sep 2002.
  7. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  8. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  9. Helland, Eric, 1998. "The Revealed Preferences of State EPAs: Stringency, Enforcement, and Substitution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 242-261, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hilary Sigman, 2004. "Transboundary Spillovers and Decentralization of Environmental Policies," Departmental Working Papers 200416, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  2. Arik Levinson, 2002. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evident," Working Papers gueconwpa~02-02-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  3. James Alm & H. Spencer Banzhaf, 2012. "Designing Economic Instruments For The Environment In A Decentralized Fiscal System," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 177-202, 04.
  4. Howard Chang & Hilary Sigman & Leah G. Traub, 2007. "Endogenous Decentralization in Federal Environmental Policies," NBER Working Papers 13238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michelle Pautz & Sara Rinfret, 2011. "Making sense of the front lines: environmental regulators in Ohio and Wisconsin," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 277-288, December.
  6. Hilary Sigman, 2007. "Decentralization and Environmental Quality: An International Analysis of Water Pollution," NBER Working Papers 13098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bowman Cutter, W. & DeShazo, J.R., 2007. "The environmental consequences of decentralizing the decision to decentralize," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 32-53, January.

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