IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Do city climate plans reduce emissions?

  • Millard-Ball, Adam
Registered author(s):

    More than 600 local governments in the US are developing climate action plans that lay out specific measures to reduce emissions from municipal operations, households and firms. To date, however, it is unclear whether these plans are being implemented or have any causal effects on emissions. Using data from California, I provide the first quantitative analysis of the impacts of climate plans. I find that cities with climate plans have had far greater success in implementing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than their counterparts without such plans. For example, they have more green buildings, spend more on pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and have implemented more programs to divert waste from methane-generating landfills. I find little evidence, however, that climate plans play any causal role in this success. Rather, citizens’ environmental preferences appear to be a more important driver of both the adoption of climate plans and the pursuit of specific emission reduction measures. Thus, climate plans are largely codifying outcomes that would have been achieved in any case.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

    Volume (Year): 71 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 289-311

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:71:y:2012:i:3:p:289-311
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
    2. Kahn Matthew E & Vaughn Ryan K., 2009. "Green Market Geography: The Spatial Clustering of Hybrid Vehicles and LEED Registered Buildings," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(2), pages 1-24, March.
    3. Kahn, Matthew E., 2011. "Do liberal cities limit new housing development? Evidence from California," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 223-228, March.
    4. Rincke, Johannes, 2007. "Policy diffusion in space and time: The case of charter schools in California school districts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 526-541, September.
    5. John A. List & Daniel L. Millimet & Per G. Fredriksson & W. Warren McHone, 2003. "Effects of Environmental Regulations on Manufacturing Plant Births: Evidence from a Propensity Score Matching Estimator," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 944-952, November.
    6. Zhenghong Tang & Samuel Brody & Courtney Quinn & Liang Chang & Ting Wei, 2010. "Moving from agenda to action: evaluating local climate change action plans," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(1), pages 41-62.
    7. Piet Eichholtz & Nils Kok & John M. Quigley, 2010. "Doing Well by Doing Good? Green Office Buildings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2492-2509, December.
    8. Glaeser, Edward L. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2010. "The greenness of cities: Carbon dioxide emissions and urban development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 404-418, May.
    9. John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2005. "Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 323-328, May.
    10. Slottje, Daniel J. & Millimet, Daniel L. & Buchanan, Michael J., 2007. "Econometric analysis of copyrights," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(2), pages 303-317, August.
    11. McMillen, Daniel P. & McDonald, John F., 1999. "Land use before zoning: The case of 1920's Chicago," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 473-489, July.
    12. McMillen Daniel P. & McDonald John F., 1993. "Could Zoning Have Increased Land Values in Chicago?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 167-188, March.
    13. William A. Fischel, 1990. "Introduction: Four Maxims for Research on Land-Use Controls," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(3), pages 229-236.
    14. Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, 2009. "Does Comprehensive Land-Use Planning Improve Cities?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(1), pages 74-86.
    15. Pogodzinski, J. M. & Sass, Tim R., 1994. "The theory and estimation of endogenous zoning," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 601-630, October.
    16. Grout, Cyrus A. & Jaeger, William K. & Plantinga, Andrew J., 2011. "Land-use regulations and property values in Portland, Oregon: A regression discontinuity design approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 98-107, March.
    17. Lutsey, Nicholas P. & Sperling, Dan, 2008. "America's Bottom-Up Climate Change Mitigation Policy," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8jj755d4, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    18. Glaeser, Edward L. & Ward, Bryce A., 2009. "The causes and consequences of land use regulation: Evidence from Greater Boston," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 265-278, May.
    19. Wu, Xiaoyu & Cutter, Bowman, 2011. "Who votes for public environmental goods in California?: Evidence from a spatial analysis of voting for environmental ballot measures," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 554-563, January.
    20. Rachel Slocum, 2004. "Consumer citizens and the Cities for Climate Protection campaign," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(5), pages 763-782, May.
    21. Lutsey, Nicholas & Sperling, Daniel, 2008. "America's bottom-up climate change mitigation policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 673-685, February.
    22. Wu, JunJie & Cho, Seong-Hoon, 2007. "The effect of local land use regulations on urban development in the Western United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 69-86, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:71:y:2012:i:3:p:289-311. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.