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Air pollution abatement costs under the Clean Air Act: evidence from the PACE survey

  • Becker, Randy A.

This paper uses establishment-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey to investigate the effects of air quality regulation on the air pollution abatement capital expenditures and operating costs of manufacturing plants from 1979-1988. Results, based on some 90,000 observations, show that heavy emitters of the “criteria” air pollutants (covered under the Clean Air Act) had significantly larger APA costs, and those subject to greater “local” regulation (due to county NAAQS non-attainment) had expenditures that were greater still. The local regulation of a particular air pollutant generally resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) of additional costs, with larger establishments and capital expenditures disproportionately affected. Federal and state environmental standards appear to have played a notable role, particularly in industries producing chemicals, petroleum, primary metals, and nonmetallic minerals. The findings of this paper support those of several recent studies.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 50 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 144-169

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:50:y:2005:i:1:p:144-169
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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  1. Randy A Becker & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "Costs of Air Quality Regulation," Working Papers 99-9, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    • Randy A. Becker & J. Vernon Henderson, 2001. "Costs of Air Quality Regulation," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy, pages 159-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Pashigian, B Peter, 1984. "The Effect of Environmental Regulation on Optimal Plant Size and Factor Shares," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, April.
  4. Carlo Carraro & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2000. "Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy: Introduction," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0011, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  5. Diane Hite, 2000. "A Random Utility Model of Environmental Equity," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 40-58.
  6. Kahn, Matthew E & Matsusaka, John G, 1997. "Demand for Environmental Goods: Evidence from Voting Patterns on California Initiatives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 137-73, April.
  7. Matthew E. Kahn, 1998. "The Silver Lining of Rust Belt Manufacturing Decline," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1828, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
  9. Kahn, Matthew E., 1997. "Particulate pollution trends in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 87-107, February.
  10. Arik Levinson, 2001. "An Industry-Adjusted Index of State Environmental Compliance Costs," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy, pages 131-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
  12. Dean, Thomas J. & Brown, Robert L. & Stango, Victor, 2000. "Environmental Regulation as a Barrier to the Formation of Small Manufacturing Establishments: A Longitudinal Examination," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 56-75, July.
  13. William Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Wilson, 2000. "Reexamining the Empirical Evidence for an Environmental Kuznets Curve," Working Papers gueconwpa~00-00-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  14. Henderson, J Vernon, 1996. "Effects of Air Quality Regulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 789-813, September.
  15. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
  16. John List & Warren McHone, 1999. "Measuring the effects of air quality regulations on "dirty" firm births: Evidence from the neo- and mature-regulatory periods," Natural Field Experiments 00524, The Field Experiments Website.
  17. Levinson, Arik, 1996. "Environmental regulations and manufacturers' location choices: Evidence from the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 5-29, October.
  18. Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Did the Clean Air Act Cause the Remarkable Decline in Sulfur Dioxide Concentrations?," Working Papers 0407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  19. Wayne B. Gray, 1997. "Manufacturing Plant Location: Does State Pollution Regulation Matter?," NBER Working Papers 5880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 1995. "Pollution Abatement Costs, Regulation, and Plant-Level Productivity," NBER Working Papers 4994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Randy Becker & Vernon Henderson, 2000. "Effects of Air Quality Regulations on Polluting Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 379-421, April.
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