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Why Is Pollution from US Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Environmental Regulation, Productivity, and Trade

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  • Joseph S. Shapiro
  • Reed Walker

Abstract

Between 1990 and 2008, air pollution emissions from U.S. manufacturing fell by 60 percent despite a substantial increase in manufacturing output. We show that these emissions reductions are primarily driven by within-product changes in emissions intensity rather than changes in output or in the composition of products produced. We then develop and estimate a quantitative model linking trade with the environment to better understand the economic forces driving these changes. Our estimates suggest that the implicit pollution tax that manufacturers face doubled between 1990 and 2008. These changes in environmental regulation, rather than changes in productivity and trade, account for most of the emissions reductions.

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  • Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2018. "Why Is Pollution from US Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Environmental Regulation, Productivity, and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(12), pages 3814-3854, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:12:p:3814-54
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20151272
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Vona & Giovanni Marin & Davide Consoli & David Popp, 2018. "Environmental Regulation and Green Skills: An Empirical Exploration," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 713-753.
    2. Geoffrey Barrows & Hélène Ollivier, 2018. "Foreign Demand and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Empirical Evidence with Implications for Leakage," PSE Working Papers halshs-01945848, HAL.
    3. Geoffrey Barrows & Helene Ollivier, 2016. "Emission intensity and firm dynamics: reallocation, product mix, and technology in India," GRI Working Papers 245, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    4. Francesco Vona & G. Marin & D. Consoli, 2016. "Measures, Drivers and Effects of Green Employment : evidence from US local Labor Markets, 2006-2014," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2016-22, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    5. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2017. "The Impact of Energy Prices on Employment and Environmental Performance: Evidence from French Manufacturing Establishments," Working Papers 2017.53, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Andersen, Dana C., 2016. "Accounting for Firm Exit and Loss of Variety in the Welfare Cost of Regulations," Working Papers 2016-9, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    7. Geoffrey Barrows & Helene Ollivier, 2018. "Foreign Demand and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Empirical Evidence with Implications for Leakage," Working Papers 2018.16, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    8. Michael L. Polemis & Thanasis Stengos, 2019. "Does competition prevent industrial pollution? Evidence from a panel threshold model," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 98-110, January.
    9. Inácio Araúgo & Randall Jackson & Amir B. Ferreira Neto & Fernando Perobelli, 2018. "Environmental Costs of European Union Membership: A Structural Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers Working Paper 2018-04, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
    10. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:8:p:2273-:d:223053 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Dana C. Andersen, 2016. "Credit Constraints, Technology Upgrading, and the Environment," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 283-319.
    12. Larch, Mario & Wanner, Joschka, 2017. "Carbon tariffs: An analysis of the trade, welfare, and emission effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 195-213.
    13. Andersen, Dana C., 2017. "Default Risk, Productivity, and the Environment: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 2017-8, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    14. Arik Levinson & James O'Brien, 2015. "Environmental Engel Curves," NBER Working Papers 20914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:9:p:2551-:d:227839 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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