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An Empirical Study of Road-Noise Barriers Deployment


  • Marie-Ève Faubert
  • Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné
  • Ekaterina Turkina


We investigate the main drivers for the construction of new road-noise barriers across states in the United States. The respective influence of costs, the number of metropolitan areas and registered vehicles, state population density, the already built area, and a state's environmental efforts (as measured by an environmental index) remains qualitatively the same for the overall newly-built area and when only new areas using specific materials are considered. However, history (through the already built area) may foster the use of some materials, which suggests that their deployment is subject to path-dependency; and different environmental indices and states peculiarities matter for different materials, which may indicate regional specificities in landscape and taste or the influence of local industrial lobbies. Some implications for the measurement of environmental stringency and the study of environmental federalism are briefly discussed. Nous examinons les principaux facteurs influençant la construction de murs anti-bruit dans chaque états des États-Unis. L'impact respectif des coûts de construction, du nombre d'immatriculation de voitures et de zones métropolitaines, de la densité de population, de la superficie déjà construite, et de l'activisme environnemental spécifique à chaque état (tel que mesuré par un indice environnemental) reste qualitativement le même, que l'on considère l'ensemble de la nouvelle superficie couverte ou bien seulement celle couverte en utilisant un matériau donné. En revanche, l'histoire (via la superficie déjà construite) peut encourager le recours à certains matériaux, ce qui suggère une forme d'inertie; et différents états et indices environnementaux ont de l'importance pour différents matériaux, ce qui peut s'interpréter comme la manifestation de spécificités régionales ou comme une indication de l'influence de certains lobbies industriels. Nous en tirons des conclusions pour les moyens de mesurer la force des réglementations et lois environnementales et pour l'étude du fédéralisme environnemental.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Ève Faubert & Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné & Ekaterina Turkina, 2014. "An Empirical Study of Road-Noise Barriers Deployment," CIRANO Working Papers 2014s-22, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2014s-22

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