IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/envpol/v21y2019i2d10.1007_s10018-018-0226-9.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The effect of gubernatorial political parties on monitoring and enforcement of federal environmental regulation: evidence from the Clean Water Act

Author

Listed:
  • Aaron A. Elrod

    (Sewanee: The University of the South)

  • Serkan Karadas

    (Sewanee: The University of the South)

  • Katherine C. Theyson

    (Sewanee: The University of the South)

Abstract

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, states should inspect each of their major water polluters at least once a year. However, studies have shown that the frequency and stringency of inspections depend on factors such as state budgets, state employee costs, and Congressional voting patterns and committee memberships. This paper adds to this literature by examining the effect of gubernatorial political party affiliation on Clean Water Act monitoring and enforcement. Using a regression discontinuity design approach, we find evidence that states with Democratic governors inspect a smaller percentage of their major water polluters, and that they inspect less stringently, compared to states with Republican governors; enforcement actions, however, are similar across states. We find no evidence that these differences in inspections lead to differences in compliance, suggesting that Democratic and Republican governors use different methods to generate compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron A. Elrod & Serkan Karadas & Katherine C. Theyson, 2019. "The effect of gubernatorial political parties on monitoring and enforcement of federal environmental regulation: evidence from the Clean Water Act," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 21(2), pages 171-202, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:envpol:v:21:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10018-018-0226-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10018-018-0226-9
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10018-018-0226-9
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s10018-018-0226-9?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Laplante, Benoit & Rilstone, Paul, 1996. "Environmental Inspections and Emissions of the Pulp and Paper Industry in Quebec," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 19-36, July.
    2. Kleit, Andrew N & Pierce, Meredith A & Hill, R Carter, 1998. "Environmental Protection, Agency Motivations, and Rent Extraction: The Regulation of Water Pollution in Louisiana," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 121-137, March.
    3. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2005. "Regulator reputation, enforcement, and environmental compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 519-540, November.
    4. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422.
    5. John A. List & Daniel M. Sturm, 2006. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1249-1281.
    6. Caughey, Devin & Sekhon, Jasjeet S., 2011. "Elections and the Regression Discontinuity Design: Lessons from Close U.S. House Races, 1942–2008," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 385-408.
    7. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Boucher, Vincent, 2015. "Polluting politics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 176-181.
    8. Wittman, Donald, 1983. "Candidate Motivation: A Synthesis of Alternative Theories," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 142-157, March.
    9. Sigman, Hilary, 2003. "Letting States Do the Dirty Work: State Responsibility for Federal Environmental Regulation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 56(1), pages 107-122, March.
    10. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859.
    11. 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.
    12. Grooms, Katherine K., 2015. "Enforcing the Clean Water Act: The effect of state-level corruption on compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 50-78.
    13. Magat, Wesley A & Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Effectiveness of the EPA's Regulatory Enforcement: The Case of Industrial Effluent Standards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 331-360, October.
    14. Fredriksson, Per G. & Wang, Le & Mamun, Khawaja A., 2011. "Are politicians office or policy motivated? The case of U.S. governors' environmental policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 241-253, September.
    15. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    16. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
    17. Ashenmiller Bevin & Norman Catherine Shelley, 2011. "Measuring the Impact of Anti-SLAPP Legislation on Monitoring and Enforcement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-19, November.
    18. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2008. "Enforcement and over-compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 90-105, January.
    19. Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.
    20. Eric Helland, 1998. "The Enforcement Of Pollution Control Laws: Inspections, Violations, And Self-Reporting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 141-153, February.
    21. Helland, Eric, 1998. "The Revealed Preferences of State EPAs: Stringency, Enforcement, and Substitution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 242-261, May.
    22. Laura E. Grant & Katherine K. Grooms, 2017. "Do Nonprofits Encourage Environmental Compliance?," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(S1), pages 261-288.
    23. Cremer, Helmuth & De Donder, Philippe & Gahvari, Firouz, 2008. "Political competition within and between parties: An application to environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 532-547, April.
    24. Sigman, Hilary, 2005. "Transboundary spillovers and decentralization of environmental policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 82-101, July.
    25. Jay P. Shimshack, 2014. "The Economics of Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 339-360, October.
    26. Helland, Eric, 1998. "Environmental Protection in the Federalist System: The Political Economy of NPDES Inspections," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(2), pages 305-319, April.
    27. Sebastian Calonico & Matias D. Cattaneo & Max H. Farrell & Roc ́ıo Titiunik, 2017. "rdrobust: Software for regression-discontinuity designs," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 17(2), pages 372-404, June.
    28. Hanna Rema Nadeem & Oliva Paulina, 2010. "The Impact of Inspections on Plant-Level Air Emissions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-33, March.
    29. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    30. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
    31. Steven Callander, 2008. "Political Motivations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 671-697.
    32. Matthew Doyle & Corrado Di Maria & Ian Lange & Emiliya Lazarova, 2016. "Electoral incentives and firm behavior: Evidence from U.S. power plant pollution abatement," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2016-11, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    33. David M. Konisky, 2007. "Regulatory Competition and Environmental Enforcement: Is There a Race to the Bottom?," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 51(4), pages 853-872, October.
    34. Heather Eckert & Andrew Eckert, 2010. "The geographic distribution of environmental inspections," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-22, February.
    35. Langpap, Christian & Shimshack, Jay P., 2010. "Private citizen suits and public enforcement: Substitutes or complements?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 235-249, May.
    36. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
    37. Leigh, Andrew, 2008. "Estimating the impact of gubernatorial partisanship on policy settings and economic outcomes: A regression discontinuity approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 256-268, March.
    38. Robert Innes & Arnab Mitra, 2015. "Parties, Politics, And Regulation: Evidence From Clean Air Act Enforcement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(1), pages 522-539, January.
    39. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, September.
    40. Andrew C. Eggers & Anthony Fowler & Jens Hainmueller & Andrew B. Hall & James M. Snyder, 2015. "On the Validity of the Regression Discontinuity Design for Estimating Electoral Effects: New Evidence from Over 40,000 Close Races," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 59(1), pages 259-274, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Boucher, Vincent, 2015. "Polluting politics," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 176-181.
    2. Per G. Fredriksson & Le Wang, 2020. "The politics of environmental enforcement: the case of the Resource and Conservation Recovery Act," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 58(6), pages 2593-2613, June.
    3. Fredriksson, Per G. & Wang, Le & Mamun, Khawaja A., 2011. "Are politicians office or policy motivated? The case of U.S. governors' environmental policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 241-253, September.
    4. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2013. "Do political parties matter for local land use policies?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 42-56.
    5. Louis-Philippe Beland & Sara Oloomi, 2017. "Party Affiliation And Public Spending: Evidence From U.S. Governors," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(2), pages 982-995, April.
    6. Roberto Basile & Valerio Filoso, 2018. "The market value of political partisanship: Quasi‐experimental evidence from municipal elections," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(S1), pages 193-209, March.
    7. Gouvêa, Raphael & Girardi, Daniele, 2021. "Partisanship and local fiscal policy: Evidence from Brazilian cities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    8. Alm, James & Shimshack, Jay, 2014. "Environmental Enforcement and Compliance: Lessons from Pollution, Safety, and Tax Settings," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 10(4), pages 209-274, December.
    9. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2013. "Do political parties matter for local land use policies?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 42-56.
    10. Louis-Philippe Beland & Bulent Unel, 2018. "The impact of party affiliation of US governors on immigrants’ labor market outcomes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(2), pages 627-670, April.
    11. Keita, Sekou & Mandon, Pierre, 2018. "Give a fish or teach fishing? Partisan affiliation of U.S. governors and the poverty status of immigrants," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 65-96.
    12. Lind, Jo Thori, 2020. "Rainy day politics. An instrumental variables approach to the effect of parties on political outcomes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    13. Joaquín Artés & Ignacio Jurado, 2018. "Government fragmentation and fiscal deficits: a regression discontinuity approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 175(3), pages 367-391, June.
    14. Ari Hyytinen & Jaakko Meriläinen & Tuukka Saarimaa & Otto Toivanen & Janne Tukiainen, 2018. "When does regression discontinuity design work? Evidence from random election outcomes," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), pages 1019-1051, July.
    15. Matthew Doyle & Corrado Di Maria & Ian A. Lange & Emiliya Lazarova, 2016. "Electoral Incentives and Firm Behavior: Evidence from U.S. Power Plant Pollution Abatement," CESifo Working Paper Series 6127, CESifo.
    16. Dietrich Earnhart & Lana Friesen, 2021. "Enforcement Federalism: Comparing the Effectiveness of Federal Punishment versus State Punishment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 78(2), pages 227-255, February.
    17. Jay P. Shimshack, 2014. "The Economics of Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 339-360, October.
    18. Niklas Potrafke, 2018. "Government ideology and economic policy-making in the United States—a survey," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 174(1), pages 145-207, January.
    19. Meriläinen, Jaakko, 2013. "Do Single-Party and Coalition Governments Differ in their Economic Outcomes? Evidence from Finnish Municipalities," Working Papers 51, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    20. Marta Curto-Grau (Universitat de Barcelona) & Albert Sole-Olle (Universitat de Barcelona) & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro(Universitat de Barcelona), 2012. "Partisan targeting of inter-governmental transfers & state interference in local elections: evidence from Spain," Working Papers in Economics 288, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political parties; Environmental regulation; Clean Water Act; States; Regression discontinuity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:envpol:v:21:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10018-018-0226-9. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.