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Assessing Multi-Dimensional Performance: Environmental and Economic Outcomes

  • Ronald Shadbegian
  • Wayne Gray

This study examines the determinants of environmental and economic performance for plants in three traditional smoke-stack industries: pulp and paper, oil, and steel. We combine data from Census Bureau and EPA databases and Compustat on the economic performance, regulatory activity and environmental performance on air and water pollution emissions and toxic releases. We find that plants with higher labor productivity tend to have lower emissions. Regulatory enforcement actions (but not inspections) are associated with lower emissions, and state-level political support for environmental issues is associated with lower water pollution and toxic releases. There is little evidence that plants owned by larger firms perform better, nor do older plants perform worse.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 05-03.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:05-03
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  1. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1719, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Ronald J. Shadbegian & Wayne B. Gray, 2003. "What Determines Environmental Performance at Paper Mills? The Roles of Abatement Spending, Regulation, and Efficiency," NCEE Working Paper Series 200303, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Apr 2003.
  3. Gray, Wayne B. & Deily, Mary E., 1996. "Compliance and Enforcement: Air Pollution Regulation in the U.S. Steel Industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 96-111, July.
  4. Ronald J. Shadbegian & Wayne B. Gray, 2003. "Pollution Abatement Expenditures and Plant-Level Productivity: A Production Function Approach," NCEE Working Paper Series 200305, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2003.
  5. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  6. Harrington, Winston, 1988. "Enforcement leverage when penalties are restricted," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 29-53, October.
  7. Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2001. "Plant Vintage, Technology, and Environmental Regulation," NCEE Working Paper Series 200104, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Nov 2001.
  8. Mary E. Deily & Wayne B. Gray, 1989. "Enforcement of pollution regulations in a declining industry," Working Paper 8912, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  9. Pitt, Mark M. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1981. "The measurement and sources of technical inefficiency in the Indonesian weaving industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-64, August.
  10. Eli Berman & Linda T.M. Bui, 1998. "Environmental Regulation and Productivity: Evidence from Oil Refineries," Papers 0091, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  11. Becker, Randy A., 2005. "Air pollution abatement costs under the Clean Air Act: evidence from the PACE survey," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 144-169, July.
  12. 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 331-60, October.
  13. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gray, Wayne B, 1987. "The Cost of Regulation: OSHA, EPA and the Productivity Slowdown," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 998-1006, December.
  15. Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  16. Nadeau, Louis W., 1997. "EPA Effectiveness at Reducing the Duration of Plant-Level Noncompliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 54-78, September.
  17. Fare, Rolf, et al, 1989. "Multilateral Productivity Comparisons When Some Outputs Are Undesirable: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 90-98, February.
  18. Bernstein, Mark A. & Feldman, Stephen L. & Schinnar, Arie P., 1990. "Impact of pollution controls on the productivity of coal-fired power plants," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 11-17, January.
  19. 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.
  20. Boyd, Gale A. & McClelland, John D., 1999. "The Impact of Environmental Constraints on Productivity Improvement in Integrated Paper Plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 121-142, September.
  21. Gollop, Frank M & Roberts, Mark J, 1983. "Environmental Regulations and Productivity Growth: The Case of Fossil-Fueled Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 654-74, August.
  22. Aiken, Deborah Vaughn & Pasurka, Carl Jr., 2003. "Adjusting the measurement of US manufacturing productivity for air pollution emissions control," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 329-351, October.
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