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The Environmental Performance Of Polluting Plants: A Spatial Analysis

  • Wayne B. Gray
  • Ronald J. Shadbegian

This paper uses plant-level EPA and Census data to examine spatial factors affecting environmental performance, as measured by air pollutant emissions and regulatory compliance. We find significant effects for compliance, but not for emissions. Compliance is positively spatially correlated, partly explained by spatial correlations in observed plant characteristics, suggesting influences of industry agglomeration. The use of spatial econometric methods shows only small effects of spatially lagged compliance status, and does not greatly change the estimated contributions of other spatially explicit factors. Regulatory activity has the expected effect of increasing environmental performance, both at the inspected plant and at neighboring plants, but only for plants in the same state, demonstrating the importance of jurisdictional boundaries. Copyright Blackwell Publishing, Inc. 2007

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Regional Science.

Volume (Year): 47 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 63-84

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jregsc:v:47:y:2007:i:1:p:63-84
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  1. Ronald J Shadbegian & Wayne B Gray, 2003. "What Determines Environmental Performance at Paper Mills? The Roles of Abatement Spending, Regulation, and Efficiency," Working Papers 03-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Eric Helland, 1998. "The Enforcement Of Pollution Control Laws: Inspections, Violations, And Self-Reporting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 141-153, February.
  3. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
  4. Hilary Sigman, 2001. "International Spillovers and Water Quality in Rivers: Do Countries Free Ride?," NBER Working Papers 8585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nadeau, Louis W., 1997. "EPA Effectiveness at Reducing the Duration of Plant-Level Noncompliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 54-78, September.
  6. Seema Arora & Timothy N. Cason, 1999. "Do Community Characteristics Influence Environmental Outcomes? Evidence from the Toxics Release Inventory," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 691-716, April.
  7. James T. Hamilton, 1993. "Politics and Social Costs: Estimating the Impact of Collective Action on Hazardous Waste Facilities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 101-125, Spring.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  9. 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.
  10. Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2002. "Optimal Pollution Abatement - Whose Benefits Matter, and How Much?," NBER Working Papers 9125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Magat, Wesley A & Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Effectiveness of the EPA's Regulatory Enforcement: The Case of Industrial Effluent Standards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 331-60, October.
  12. Gray, Wayne B. & Deily, Mary E., 1996. "Compliance and Enforcement: Air Pollution Regulation in the U.S. Steel Industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 96-111, July.
  13. 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.
  14. Kahn, Matthew E., 1999. "The Silver Lining of Rust Belt Manufacturing Decline," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 360-376, November.
  15. Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
  16. Scholz, John T & Gray, Wayne B, 1990. " OSHA Enforcement and Workplace Injuries: A Behavioral Approach to Risk Assessment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 283-305, September.
  17. Hilary Sigman, 2004. "Transboundary Spillovers and Decentralization of Environmental Policies," NBER Working Papers 10717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. James T. Hamilton, 1995. "Testing for environmental racism: Prejudice, profits, political power?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 107-132.
  19. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2005. "Regulator reputation, enforcement, and environmental compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 519-540, November.
  20. Vernon Henderson, 1999. "Marshall's Economies," NBER Working Papers 7358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Helland, Eric & Whitford, Andrew B., 2003. "Pollution incidence and political jurisdiction: evidence from the TRI," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 403-424, November.
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