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You Get What You Pay For: Environmental Policy and Public Health


  • Neal D. Woods
  • David M. Konisky
  • Ann O'M. Bowman


In this article, we examine the cumulative impact of state environmental protection policies and environmental quality on the health of state residents in the United States. Using a series of path analytic models, we simultaneously analyze the effect of state environmental policies on environmental pollution and health outcomes. Our results indicate that states with stronger environmental programs have lower levels of pollution and better public health. These results are robust across multiple measures and alternative model specifications. We also find some evidence that states that assume authority to implement federal environmental programs have worse health outcomes. Our findings suggest that overall levels of public health may be affected by state choices with respect to environmental policies and highlight the importance of assessing programmatic consequences across policy areas. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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  • Neal D. Woods & David M. Konisky & Ann O'M. Bowman, 2009. "You Get What You Pay For: Environmental Policy and Public Health," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 95-116, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:publus:v:39:y:2009:i:1:p:95-116

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