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Environmental Regulation, Investment Timing, and Technology Choice


  • Gray, Wayne B
  • Shadbegian, Ronald J


The authors test whether environmental regulation affects investment decisions using Census data for individual paper mills. New mills in states with strict environmental regulations choose cleaner production technologies, with differences in air and water pollution regulation also influencing technology choice. Examining investment allocation across existing plants, the authors find that abatement and productive investment tend to be scheduled together. However, plants with high abatement investment over the entire period spend significantly less on productive capital. This seems to reflect both environmental investment 'crowding out' productive investment within a plant and firms shifting investment towards plants facing less stringent abatement requirements. Copyright 1998 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Suggested Citation

  • Gray, Wayne B & Shadbegian, Ronald J, 1998. "Environmental Regulation, Investment Timing, and Technology Choice," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 235-256, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:46:y:1998:i:2:p:235-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Barbera, Anthony J & McConnell, Virginia D, 1986. "Effects of Pollution Control on Industry Productivity: A Factor Demand Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 161-172, December.
    3. Wayne B Gray & Ronald J Shadbegian, 1994. "Pollution Abatement Costs, Regulation And Plant-Level Productivity," Working Papers 94-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Wayne B. Gray, 1997. "Manufacturing Plant Location: Does State Pollution Regulation Matter?," NBER Working Papers 5880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Timothy J. Bartik, 2002. "The Effects of Environmental Regulation on Business Location in the United States," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers,in: Wayne B. Gray (ed.), Economic Costs and Consequences of Environmental Regulation, pages 129-151 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    6. Gray, Wayne B, 1987. "The Cost of Regulation: OSHA, EPA and the Productivity Slowdown," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 998-1006, December.
    7. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper & Laura Power, 1999. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 921-946, September.
    8. Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Deily, Mary E. & Gray, Wayne B., 1991. "Enforcement of pollution regulations in a declining industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 260-274, November.
    10. Gollop, Frank M & Roberts, Mark J, 1983. "Environmental Regulations and Productivity Growth: The Case of Fossil-Fueled Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 654-674, August.
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    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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