Cross Sectional Variation In Toxic Waste Releases From The U.S. Chemical Industry
This paper measures and examines the 1987 cross sectional variation in toxic releases from the U.S. chemical industry. The analysis is based on a unique plant level data set of over 2,100 plants, combining EPA toxic release data with Census Bureau data on economic activity. The main results are that intra-industry variation in toxic releases are as great as, or greater, than inter-industry variation, and that plant, firm, and regulatory characteristics are important factors in explaining observed variation in toxic releases. Even after controlling for primary product and plant characteristics, there are some firms that generate significantly lower toxic waste due to managerial ability and/or technology differences.
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