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Assessing multi-dimensional performance: environmental and economic outcomes


  • Ronald Shadbegian
  • Wayne Gray



This study examines economic performance, environmental performance, and regulatory activity for plants in three industries: pulp and paper, oil, and steel. Stochastic frontier production function models show significant deviations from production efficiency. Older plants are less efficient in production, but perform no worse on emissions. Plants spending more on pollution abatement tend to do worse on both production efficiency and emissions. Stricter local regulatory pressure is associated with somewhat lower emissions, but has mixed effects on production efficiency. Positive correlations between SUR residuals for emissions and production efficiency suggest unmeasured plant-level characteristics that drive both economic and environmental performance. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Shadbegian & Wayne Gray, 2006. "Assessing multi-dimensional performance: environmental and economic outcomes," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 213-234, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:26:y:2006:i:3:p:213-234
    DOI: 10.1007/s11123-006-0017-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin, Ralf & Muûls, Mirabelle & de Preux, Laure B. & Wagner, Ulrich J., 2012. "Anatomy of a paradox: Management practices, organizational structure and energy efficiency," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 208-223.
    2. Shital Sharma, 2013. "Environmental Regulation, Abatement, and Productivity: A Frontier Analysis," Working Papers 13-51, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Deborah Aiken & Rolf Färe & Shawna Grosskopf & Carl Pasurka, 2009. "Pollution Abatement and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 11-28, September.
    4. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, Ronald J. & Wang, Chunbei & Meral, Merve, 2014. "Do EPA regulations affect labor demand? Evidence from the pulp and paper industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 188-202.
    5. Linn, Joshua & Mastrangelo, Erin & Burtraw, Dallas, 2013. "Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Coal Power Plants under the Clean Air Act," Discussion Papers dp-13-05, Resources For the Future.
    6. Becchetti, Leonardo & Ciciretti, Rocco & Giovannelli, Alessandro, 2013. "Corporate social responsibility and earnings forecasting unbiasedness," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3654-3668.
    7. Ann Ferris & Ronald J. Shadbegian & Ann Wolverton, 2014. "The Effect of Environmental Regulation on Employment: An Examination of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and its Impact on the Electric Power Sector," NCEE Working Paper Series 201403, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Feb 2014.
    8. Fraas, Art & Egorenkov, Alex, 2015. "A Retrospective Study of EPA’s Air Toxics Program under the Revised Section 112 Requirements of the Clean Air Act," Discussion Papers dp-15-23, Resources For the Future.
    9. Yoshifumi Konishi & Nori Tarui, 2015. "Emissions Trading, Firm Heterogeneity, and Intra-industry Reallocations in the Long Run," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-42.
    10. Leonardo Becchetti & Giovanni Trovato, 2011. "Corporate social responsibility and firm efficiency: a latent class stochastic frontier analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 231-246, December.
    11. Thanh Tam Nguyen-Huu & Minh Nguyen-Khac & Quoc Tran-Nam, 2017. "The role of environmental regulations and innovation in TFP convergence: Evidence from manufacturing SMEs in Viet Nam," WIDER Working Paper Series 092, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Bethany DeSalvo & Frank F. Limehouse & Shawn D. Klimek, 2016. "Documenting the Business Register and Related Economic Business Data," Working Papers 16-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Kjetil Telle, 2009. "The threat of regulatory environmental inspection: impact on plant performance," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 154-178, April.
    14. Thomas Broberg & Per-Olov Marklund & Eva Samakovlis & Henrik Hammar, 2013. "Testing the Porter hypothesis: the effects of environmental investments on efficiency in Swedish industry," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 43-56, August.
    15. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, Ronald J., 2015. "Multimedia Pollution Regulation and Environmental Performance: EPA’s Cluster Rule," Discussion Papers dp-15-26, Resources For the Future.
    16. Brännlund, Runar & Lundgren, Tommy & Marklund, Per-Olov, 2014. "Carbon intensity in production and the effects of climate policy—Evidence from Swedish industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 844-857.
    17. Daniel Matisoff, 2012. "Privatizing Climate Change Policy: Is there a Public Benefit?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(3), pages 409-433, November.
    18. Fleishman, Rachel & Alexander, Rob & Bretschneider, Stuart & Popp, David, 2009. "Does regulation stimulate productivity? The effect of air quality policies on the efficiency of US power plants," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4574-4582, November.
    19. Claudia Poser & Edeltraud Guenther & Marc Orlitzky, 2012. "Shades of green: using computer-aided qualitative data analysis to explore different aspects of corporate environmental performance," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 413-450, January.

    More about this item


    Productivity; Regulation; Emissions; Efficiency; Q52; D24;

    JEL classification:

    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity


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