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Regulating Mismeasured Pollution: Implications of Firm Heterogeneity for Environmental Policy

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This paper provides the first estimates of within-industry heterogeneity in energy and CO2 productivity for the entire U.S. manufacturing sector. We measure energy and CO2 productivity as output per dollar energy input or per ton CO2 emitted. Three findings emerge. First, within narrowly de ned industries, heterogeneity in energy and CO2 productivity across plants is enormous. Second, heterogeneity in energy and CO2 productivity exceeds heterogeneity in most other productivity measures, like labor or total factor productivity. Third, heterogeneity in energy and CO2 productivity has important implications for environmental policies targeting industries rather than plants, including technology standards and carbon border adjustments.

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  • Eva Lyubich & Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2018. "Regulating Mismeasured Pollution: Implications of Firm Heterogeneity for Environmental Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2117, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:2117
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    File URL: http://cowles.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/pub/d21/d2117.pdf
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    1. Curtis Carlson & Dallas Burtraw & Maureen Cropper & Karen L. Palmer, 2000. "Sulfur Dioxide Control by Electric Utilities: What Are the Gains from Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1292-1326, December.
    2. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    3. Shapiro, Joseph S. & Walker, Reed, 2015. "Why is Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Trade, Regulation, Productivity, and Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 8789, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    5. Boyd, Gale A. & Pang, Joseph X., 2000. "Estimating the linkage between energy efficiency and productivity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 289-296, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wesley Blundell & Gautam Gowrisankaran & Ashley Langer, 2018. "Escalation of Scrutiny: The Gains from Dynamic Enforcement of Environmental Regulations," NBER Working Papers 24810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:eee:jeeman:v:96:y:2019:i:c:p:174-194 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:jeeman:v:94:y:2019:i:c:p:254-273 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • F64 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Environment
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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