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Environmental disasters as risk regulation catalysts? The role of Bhopal, Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Love Canal, and Three Mile Island in shaping U.S. environmental law

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  • Matthew Kahn

Abstract

Unexpected events such as environmental catastrophes capture wide public attention. Soon after five major shocks—Three Mile Island, Love Canal, Bhopal, Chernobyl, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill—Congress voted on new risk regulation. This paper conducts an event study to test whether individual congressional representatives were “shocked” by these environmental disasters into increasing their probability of voting in favor of risk legislation. On average, representatives were less likely to vote in favor of bills tied to these five events. Significant heterogeneity in representatives’ responses to these shocks is documented. Liberal Northeast representatives were most likely to increase their pro-environment voting in the aftermath of these shocks. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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  • Matthew Kahn, 2007. "Environmental disasters as risk regulation catalysts? The role of Bhopal, Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Love Canal, and Three Mile Island in shaping U.S. environmental law," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 17-43, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:35:y:2007:i:1:p:17-43
    DOI: 10.1007/s11166-007-9016-7
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Causes and Consequences of Environmentalism
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-08-25 06:03:00
    2. What New Legislation will Be Caused by the BP Spill?
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-05-28 20:13:00
    3. Environmental Disasters as Regulation Catalysts: The Case of the April 2010 Oil Spill
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-05-02 08:12:00
    4. Can Carbon "Cap and Trade" Make a Comeback?
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2010-03-28 23:04:00
    5. The Economics of Heat Waves
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-08-06 01:50:00
    6. Do Nudges Work With Teenagers? and a Quibble with the LA Times
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2012-11-02 06:25:00
    7. Causal Policy Effects Induced by Disasters
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2015-05-19 23:01:00
    8. Will a News Surge in San Francisco Nudge Local Officials to Tackle the Homeless Challenge?
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2016-05-17 06:01:00
    9. The Great Climate Change Race Between The Rising Threat and Our Increasing Ability to "Take a Punch"
      by Matthew E. Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2021-04-01 14:16:00

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    Cited by:

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    2. Fouquet, Roger, 2011. "Long run trends in energy-related external costs," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2380-2389.
    3. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "How does corruption influence perceptions of the risk of nuclear accidents?: cross-country analysis after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan," MPRA Paper 31708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Experience of technological and natural disasters and their impact on the perceived risk of nuclear accidents after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan 2011: A cross-country analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 360-363.
    5. W. Viscusi, 2009. "Valuing risks of death from terrorism and natural disasters," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 191-213, June.
    6. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of free media on views regarding the safety of nuclear energy after the 2011 disasters in Japan: evidence using cross-country data," MPRA Paper 32011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Stefano Gagliarducci & M. Daniele Paserman & Eleonora Patacchini, 2019. "Hurricanes, Climate Change Policies and Electoral Accountability," CEIS Research Paper 458, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 17 May 2019.
    8. Scholtens, Bert & Boersen, Arieke, 2011. "Stocks and energy shocks: The impact of energy accidents on stock market value," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 1698-1702.
    9. Yamamura, Eiji, 2015. "Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on obesity of children in Japan, using data from 2008 to 2014," MPRA Paper 67076, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Fouquet, Roger, 2012. "The demand for environmental quality in driving transitions to low-polluting energy sources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 138-149.
    11. Eddy Ng & Ronald Burke, 2010. "Predictor of Business Students’ Attitudes Toward Sustainable Business Practices," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(4), pages 603-615, September.
    12. Christian Binz & Noosha Bronte Razavian & Michael Kiparsky, 2018. "Of Dreamliners and Drinking Water: Developing Risk Regulation and a Safety Culture for Direct Potable Reuse," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 32(2), pages 511-525, January.
    13. Houdou Basse Mama & Alexander Bassen, 2013. "Contagion effects in the electric utility industry following the Fukushima nuclear accident," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(24), pages 3421-3430, August.
    14. Eiji Yamamura, 2015. "Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the body mass index of children in Japan 2010-2014," ISER Discussion Paper 0941, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    15. repec:dau:papers:123456789/5891 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Yamamura, Eiji, 2016. "Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on obesity of children in Japan (2008–2014)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 110-121.
    17. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Atomic bombs and the long-run effect on trust: Experiences in Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 17-24.
    18. Bastiaan C.J. Zoeteman & Wouter C. Kersten & Wiebe F. Vos & Lieke van de Voort & Ben J.M. Ale, 2010. "Communication management during risk events and crises in a globalised world: Predictability of domestic media attention for calamities," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 279-302, April.
    19. Maniloff, Peter & Kaffine, Daniel T., 2021. "Private monitoring and public enforcement: Evidence from complaints and regulation of oil and gas wells," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    20. repec:hrv:faseco:33078973 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Magontier, Pierre, 2020. "Does media coverage affect governments' preparation for natural disasters?," MPRA Paper 101291, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk; Regulation; Disasters; Voting; D62; I18; L51;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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