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Labor Market Effects of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Listed author(s):
  • Hore John

    ()

    (Navigant Economics)

  • Carrington William J.

    ()

    (Congressional Budget Office)

Registered author(s):

    We study the labor market effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, which was the largest U.S. oceanic oil spill prior to the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill. We find that employment and average earnings increased in 1989 when the cleanup effort was largest and there appears to have been little, if any, adverse effect on average labor market opportunities in later years. Increased wages elicited increased labor supply in the form of both in-migration of workers and increased weekly hours. While the labor market effects of the spill were largely beneficial, there is some evidence that the effects upon self-employed fishing boat owners in the region may have been more heterogeneous, with some owners signing lucrative cleanup contracts with Exxon and its agents while others did not. The existence of these positive labor effects does not address the significant environmental, psychological and social costs imposed on the region and on the communities whose livelihood and organization were affected by the spill.

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    File URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap.2011.11.issue-1/1935-1682.2707/1935-1682.2707.xml?format=INT
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    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (October)
    Pages: 1-18

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:63
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    1. Ariel R. Belasen & Solomon W. Polachek, 2009. "How Disasters Affect Local Labor Markets: The Effects of Hurricanes in Florida," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1), pages -.
    2. Maurie J. Cohen, 1995. "Technological Disasters and Natural Resource Damage Assessment: An Evaluation of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(1), pages 65-82.
    3. Richard Carson & Robert Mitchell & Michael Hanemann & Raymond Kopp & Stanley Presser & Paul Ruud, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Lost Passive Use: Damages from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(3), pages 257-286, July.
    4. Carrington, William J, 1996. "The Alaskan Labor Market during the Pipeline Era," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 186-218, February.
    5. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
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