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Environmental Regulation and Labor Reallocation: Evidence from the Clean Air Act

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  • W. Reed Walker

Abstract

This paper uses newly available data on plant level regulatory status linked to the Census Longitudinal Business Database to measure the impact of changes in county level environmental regulations on plant and sector employment levels. Estimates from a variety of specifications suggest a strong connection between changes in environmental regulatory stringency and both employment growth and levels in the affected sectors. The preferred estimates suggest that changes in county level regulatory status due to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments reduced the size of the regulated sector by as much as 15 percent in the 10 years following the changes.

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  • W. Reed Walker, 2011. "Environmental Regulation and Labor Reallocation: Evidence from the Clean Air Act," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 442-447, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:442-47
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.3.442
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Becker, Randy A., 2005. "Air pollution abatement costs under the Clean Air Act: evidence from the PACE survey," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 144-169, July.
    2. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
    3. Robert W. Hahn & Richard L. Schmalensee & Roger Noll & Robert Stavins & Lester B. Lave & George C. Eads & Milton Russell & V. Kerry Smith & Maureen L. Cropper & Paul R. Portney & Kenneth J. Arrow, 1996. "Benefit-Cost Analysis in Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulation: A Statement of Principles," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 51790.
    4. W. Reed Walker, 2013. "The Transitional Costs of Sectoral Reallocation: Evidence From the Clean Air Act and the Workforce," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1787-1835.
    5. Michael Greenstone, 2002. "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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1175-1219, December.
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