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Measuring The Impact Of The Toxics Release Inventory: Evidence From Manufacturing Plant Births

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  • Nicholas E. Powers

Abstract

The Toxics Release Inventory was the first major initiative to take a disclosurebased approach to environmental regulation and has served as the model for several other disclosure-based environmental policies. Yet the magnitude of its direct impacts on industrial manufacturing outcomes has not been established. I use Census Bureau micro-data to estimate the impacts of the Toxics Release Inventory on the opening of new manufacturing plants. I find that on average, counties that were found to be among the dirtiest in the country, in terms of toxic emissions, experienced a decrease in “dirty” plant births and an even larger increase in “clean” plant births. Furthermore, the magnitude of this shift is closely related to per capita income in the affected coun- ties - the effect is strongest in high-income communities and is reversed in low-income communities. I discuss the implications for information-based environmental policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas E. Powers, 2013. "Measuring The Impact Of The Toxics Release Inventory: Evidence From Manufacturing Plant Births," Working Papers 13-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:13-07
    as

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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2013/CES-WP-13-07.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Konar, Shameek & Cohen, Mark A., 1997. "Information As Regulation: The Effect of Community Right to Know Laws on Toxic Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
    2. Nicholas Powers & Allen Blackman & Thomas Lyon & Urvashi Narain, 2011. "Does Disclosure Reduce Pollution? Evidence from India’s Green Rating Project," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(1), pages 131-155, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Linda T. M. Bui & Christopher J. Mayer, 2003. "Regulation and Capitalization of Environmental Amenities: Evidence from the Toxic Release Inventory in Massachusetts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 693-708, August.
    5. John A. List & Daniel L. Millimet & Per G. Fredriksson & W. Warren McHone, 2003. "Effects of Environmental Regulations on Manufacturing Plant Births: Evidence from a Propensity Score Matching Estimator," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 944-952, November.
    6. Fredriksson, Per G. & List, John A. & Millimet, Daniel L., 2003. "Bureaucratic corruption, environmental policy and inbound US FDI: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1407-1430, August.
    7. Jorge García & Shakeb Afsah & Thomas Sterner, 2009. "Which Firms are More Sensitive to Public Disclosure Schemes for Pollution Control? Evidence from Indonesia’s PROPER Program," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(2), pages 151-168, February.
    8. Tom Tietenberg, 1998. "Disclosure Strategies for Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 587-602, April.
    9. Magali Delmas & Maria J. Montes-Sancho & Jay P. Shimshack, 2010. "Information Disclosure Policies: Evidence From The Electricity Industry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(2), pages 483-498, April.
    10. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Xiaoyang Li & Yue Maggie Zhou, 2016. "Offshoring Pollution While Offshoring Production," Working Papers 16-09r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:11:p:2310-2329 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Xiaoyang Li & Yue M. Zhou, 2016. "Offshoring Production while Offshoring Pollution?," Working Papers 16-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm heterogeneity; microdata; quality; trade; unit value.;

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