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Measuring the effects of air quality regulations on "dirty" firm births: Evidence from the neo- and mature-regulatory periods

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  • John List
  • Warren McHone

Abstract

In this article, we use annual (1980-90) county-level manufacturing plant location data for New York State to examine the effects of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments on the location decisions of new pollution-intensive manufacturing plants in the "neo-regulatory" (1980-84) and "mature-regulatory" (1985-90) phases of the Act's implementation. Our results suggest that the temporal effects of regulation vary. Whereas the location decisions of pollution intensive manufacturing firms were unaffected by the Act's regulatory restrictions in the "neo-regulatory" period, the restrictions appear to have had a significant negative impact on the location decisions of these types of firms in the Act's "mature-regulatory" phase. The diversion of new pollution intensive plants to counties with less stringent environmental regulations suggests that current US environmental regulations may be leading to a "browning process" whereby counties historically free of pollution become havens for polluters.

Suggested Citation

  • John List & Warren McHone, 1999. "Measuring the effects of air quality regulations on "dirty" firm births: Evidence from the neo- and mature-regulatory periods," Natural Field Experiments 00524, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00524
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    Cited by:

    1. Wenli Yan & Douglas A. Carr, 2013. "Federal Environmental Regulation Impacts on Local Economic Growth and Stability," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 27(3), pages 179-192, August.
    2. Sturm, Daniel & Ulph, Alistair, 2002. "Environment, trade, political economy and imperfect information: a survey," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0204, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    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. Yingcheng Li & Kai Zhu, 2017. "Spatial dependence and heterogeneity in the location processes of new high-tech firms in Nanjing, China," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(3), pages 519-535, August.
    5. List John A. & Millimet Daniel L & McHone Warren, 2004. "The Unintended Disincentive in the Clean Air Act," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-28, February.
    6. Holl, Adelheid, 2004. "Manufacturing location and impacts of road transport infrastructure: empirical evidence from Spain," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 341-363, May.
    7. Miguel C. Manjon-Antolin & Josep Maria Arauzo-Carod, 2006. "Locations and Relocations: Modelling, Determinants, and Interrelations," ERSA conference papers ersa06p33, European Regional Science Association.
    8. Niklas Elert, 2014. "What determines entry? Evidence from Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(1), pages 55-92, August.
    9. Kim, Kijin, 2013. "The Effects of the Clean Air Act on Local Industrial Wages," 6th Annual Midwest Graduate Student Conference on Regional and Applied Economics (CRAE), April 5-6, 2013, Columbus, Ohio 147489, Midwest Graduate Student Conference on Regional and Applied Economics (CRAE), The Ohio State University, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics.
    10. Rauscher, Michael, 2001. "International trade, foreign investment, and the environment," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 29, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    11. Javier González‐Benito & Óscar González‐Benito, 2010. "A study of determinant factors of stakeholder environmental pressure perceived by industrial companies," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 164-181, March.
    12. Becker Randy A, 2003. "Pollution Abatement Expenditure by U.S. Manufacturing Plants: Do Community Characteristics Matter?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-23, December.
    13. Josep‐Maria Arauzo‐Carod & Daniel Liviano‐Solis & Miguel Manjón‐Antolín, 2010. "Empirical Studies In Industrial Location: An Assessment Of Their Methods And Results," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 685-711, August.
    14. Wu, Haoyi & Guo, Huanxiu & Zhang, Bing & Bu, Maoliang, 2017. "Westward movement of new polluting firms in China: Pollution reduction mandates and location choice," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 119-138.
    15. Jae Teuk Chin, 2020. "Location Choice of New Business Establishments: Understanding the Local Context and Neighborhood Conditions in the United States," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(2), pages 1-17, January.
    16. Morgan, O. Ashton & Condliffe, Simon, 2009. "Spatial Heterogeneity in Environmental Regulation Enforcement and the Firm Location Decision among U.S. Counties," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 39(3), pages 239-252.
    17. List, John A. & McHone, W. Warren & Millimet, Daniel L., 2004. "Effects of environmental regulation on foreign and domestic plant births: is there a home field advantage?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 303-326, September.
    18. Hoffman, Joan, 2008. "Watershed shift: Collaboration and employers in the New York City Catskill/Delaware Watershed from 1990-2003," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 141-161, December.
    19. Javier González‐Benito & Óscar González‐Benito, 2006. "A review of determinant factors of environmental proactivity," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 87-102, March.
    20. Abay Mulatu & Reyer Gerlagh & Dan Rigby & Ada Wossink, 2009. "Environmental Regulation and Industry Location," Working Papers 2009.2, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    21. Simon Condliffe & O. Ashton Morgan, 2009. "The effects of air quality regulations on the location decisions of pollution-intensive manufacturing plants," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 83-93, August.
    22. Josep‐Maria Arauzo‐Carod, 2008. "Industrial Location At A Local Level: Comments On The Territorial Level Of The Analysis," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 99(2), pages 193-208, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • R38 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Government Policy
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General

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