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Robust inference concerning recent trends in US environmental quality

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  • Daniel L. Millimet

    (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA)

  • Esfandiar Maasoumi

    (Department of Economics, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA)

Abstract

Understanding trends in environmental quality is important for individuals and policymakers. Typically, trends in environmental quality are determined solely through comparisons of unconditional or conditional mean pollution levels. However, reaching unambiguous conclusions on the basis of only the first moment of the (unconditional or conditional) distribution is problematic since it ignores what is occurring in different regions of the distribution. Even relying on indices that incorporate both mean and variance is suspect to the extent that relative rankings are not typically robust to index choice. Addressing these concerns, we adapt recent developments in the stochastic dominance literature to test for unambiguous relations between current and past distributions of toxic releases. Using EPA data from 1988-1999, we find statistically significant evidence that the unconditional 1999 distributions of air, land, underground and total toxic releases dominate in a first-degree sense their respective 1988 distributions. While some of this improvement is explained by economic growth, pollution net-of-income improved over the sample period as well. Finally, we document robust differences in the distribution of pollution across regions in the US. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel L. Millimet & Esfandiar Maasoumi, 2005. "Robust inference concerning recent trends in US environmental quality," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 55-77.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:20:y:2005:i:1:p:55-77
    DOI: 10.1002/jae.759
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    File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca:80/jae/2005-v20.1/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Oliver Linton & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2002. "Consistent Testing for Stochastic Dominance: A Subsampling Approach," STICERD - Econometrics Paper Series 433, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    2. Esfandiar Maasoumi & Daniel L. Millimet & Dipanwita Sarkar, 2009. "Who Benefits from Marriage?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(1), pages 1-33, February.
    3. Chintrakarn, Pandej & Millimet, Daniel L., 2006. "The environmental consequences of trade: Evidence from subnational trade flows," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 430-453, July.
    4. Apergis, Nicholas & Christou, Christina & Gupta, Rangan, 2017. "Are there Environmental Kuznets Curves for US state-level CO2 emissions?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 551-558.
    5. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Millimet, Daniel & Sarkar, Dipanwita, 2005. "The Distribution of Returns to Marriage," Departmental Working Papers 0503, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    6. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Almas Heshmati, 2003. "Evaluating Dominance Ranking of PSID Incomes by various Household Attributes," Departmental Working Papers 0509, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    7. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B. & Beatty, Timothy K.M., 2007. "Mercury advisories: Information, education, and fish consumption," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 158-179, March.
    8. Millimet, Daniel & Wang, Le, 2005. "Is the Quantity-Quality Trade-off Really a Trade-off for All?," Departmental Working Papers 0502, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
    9. Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Dimitrios Kapetanakis, 2014. "Lessons From Quantile Panel Estimation of the Environmental Kuznets Curve," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(8), pages 815-853, November.
    10. Ozkan Eren & Daniel Millimet, 2007. "Time to learn? The organizational structure of schools and student achievement," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 301-332, May.
    11. David Lander & David Gunawan & William Griffiths & Duangkamon Chotikapanich, 2017. "Bayesian assessment of Lorenz and stochastic dominance," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 15/17, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
    12. Apergis, Nicholas, 2016. "Environmental Kuznets curves: New evidence on both panel and country-level CO2 emissions," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 263-271.

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