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Letting States Do the Dirty Work: State Responsibility for Federal Environmental Regulation

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  • Sigman, Hilary

Abstract

Under most U.S. environmental regulations, the federal government shares responsibility with the states by authorizing them to implement and enforce federal policies. Authorization provides states with considerable discretion over the effects of regulation and is perhaps the most significant decentralization in U.S. environmental policy. However, few studies address its role. To fill this gap, this paper explores the empirical determinants of authorization for water pollution and hazardous waste regulation. Although no single hypothesis strongly explains authorization, I find some evidence that states authorize to increase the stringency of regulation, which suggests that environmental decentralization would be beneficial.

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  • Sigman, Hilary, 2003. "Letting States Do the Dirty Work: State Responsibility for Federal Environmental Regulation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 107-122, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:56:y:2003:i:1:p:107-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. James Alm & H. Spencer Banzhaf, 2012. "Designing Economic Instruments For The Environment In A Decentralized Fiscal System," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 177-202, April.
    2. Levinson, Arik, 2003. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 91-106, March.
    3. Chang, Howard F. & Sigman, Hilary & Traub, Leah G., 2014. "Endogenous decentralization in federal environmental policies," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 39-50.
    4. Millimet, Daniel L., 2013. "Environmental Federalism: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Fredriksson, Per G. & Wollscheid, Jim R., 2014. "Environmental decentralization and political centralization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 402-410.
    6. Bowman Cutter, W. & DeShazo, J.R., 2007. "The environmental consequences of decentralizing the decision to decentralize," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 32-53, January.
    7. Sigman, Hilary, 2005. "Transboundary spillovers and decentralization of environmental policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 82-101, July.
    8. Michelle Pautz & Sara Rinfret, 2011. "Making sense of the front lines: environmental regulators in Ohio and Wisconsin," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 1(4), pages 277-288, December.
    9. Michelle C. Pautz, 2009. "Perceptions of the Regulated Community in Environmental Policy: The View from Below," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 26(5), pages 533-550, September.
    10. Hilary Sigman, 2007. "Decentralization and Environmental Quality: An International Analysis of Water Pollution," NBER Working Papers 13098, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Hilary Sigman, 2014. "Decentralization and Environmental Quality: An International Analysis of Water Pollution Levels and Variation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 90(1), pages 114-130.
    12. Matthew Gibson, 2016. "Regulation-Induced Pollution Substitution," Department of Economics Working Papers 2016-04, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    13. Joungseok Park, 2016. "How Democracy Matters: Evidence of Electoral Incentives for Environmental Policy," Working Papers 16-20, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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