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The Impact of Voluntary Programs on Polluting Behavior: Evidence from Pollution Prevention Programs and Toxic Releases

Author

Listed:
  • Linda T. M. Bui

    () (Department of Economics, Brandeis University)

  • Samuel Kapon

    (Undergraduate student, Brandeis University)

Abstract

We investigate how a class of voluntary environmental initiatives known as pollution prevention (“P2”) programs affect toxic pollution. We construct a data base on federal and state-level P2 programs and exploit variation in adoption dates and program characteristics to study their effects on facility-level releases. We find convincing evidence that these mechanisms can alter polluter behavior. In particular, we find that (1) state P2 programs had a significant impact on average facility level toxic releases, reducing annual releases by 11%-15%; (2) for every $100,000 of federal matching funds awarded for state P2 activities, average facility level releases in the recipient state declined on the order of 1%-1.5%; (3) P2-induced reductions are significantly enhanced by information spillovers, diffused primarily via industry networks rather than geographic proximity; (4) facilities respond to technical assistance programs by reducing toxic releases, but only for substances that are not simultaneously regulated by formal command and control strategies; and (5) facilities respond to filing fees and non-reporting penalties by altering their toxic releases, but only for chemicals that are easily monitored by regulators.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda T. M. Bui & Samuel Kapon, 2010. "The Impact of Voluntary Programs on Polluting Behavior: Evidence from Pollution Prevention Programs and Toxic Releases," Working Papers 40, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School, revised Nov 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:40
    as

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    File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP40.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Linda T. M. Bui, 2012. "What we Know About What we Know About Toxic Polluter Behavior from the TRI: Evidence from (almost) Twenty Years of TRI Data in The Petroleum Refining Industry," Working Papers 45, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    2. Li, Huan & Khanna, Neha & Vidovic, Martina, 2014. "Third Party Certification and Self-Regulation: Evidence from Responsible Care and Accidents in the US Chemical Industry," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170492, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Bin Ni & Hanae Tamechika & Tsunehiro Otsuki & Keiichiro Honda, 2016. "Does ISO14001 raise firms f awareness of environmental protection? |Case from Vietnam," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-05, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    4. Vidovic, Martina & Khanna, Neha & Delgado, Michael S., 2013. "Third Party Certification and the Effectiveness of Voluntary Pollution Abatement Programs: Evidence from Responsible Care," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150706, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Bin Ni, 2015. "Productivity, Capital Intensity and ISO14001 Adoption \Theory and Evidence from Vietnam," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 15-26, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    6. Gupta, Sonam & Innes, Robert, 2014. "Private politics and environmental management," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 319-339.
    7. Daniel Matisoff, 2015. "Sources of specification errors in the assessment of voluntary environmental programs: understanding program impacts," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 48(1), pages 109-126, March.
    8. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:21-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Fujii, Hidemichi & Managi, Shunsuke, 2012. "Decomposition of toxic chemical substance management in three U.S. manufacturing sectors from 1991 to 2008," MPRA Paper 37550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Finger, Stephen R. & Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti, 2013. "Mandatory disclosure of plant emissions into the environment and worker chemical exposure inside plants," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 124-136.
    11. Fraas, Art & Egorenkov, Alex, 2015. "A Retrospective Study of EPA’s Air Toxics Program under the Revised Section 112 Requirements of the Clean Air Act," Discussion Papers dp-15-23, Resources For the Future.

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