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Do Community Characteristics Influence Environmental Outcomes? Evidence from the Toxics Release Inventory

  • Seema Arora
  • Timothy N. Cason

This research uses neighborhood characteristics (at the zip code level) in 1990 to explain toxic releases in 1993. It combines the Toxics Release Inventory data with demographic data from the 1990 U.S. Census. We first analyze the location of manufacturing facilities in a particular neighborhood using a sample selection model, and then estimate the relationship between releases in 1993 and the demographic characteristics of the neighborhood in 1990. We conduct the analysis for the entire U.S. as well as for different geographic regions to study regional differences in determinants of environmental outcomes. Releases in nonurban areas of the southeastern U.S. exhibit a pattern suggesting that race might be an important determinant of release patterns. Economic characteristics of neighborhoods (such as income levels and unemployment) also affect releases. Our variables that proxy the propensity for communities to engage in political action exert greater influence on environmental outcomes in nonurban areas.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 65 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 691-716

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:65:4:y:1999:p:691-716
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/

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