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Decentralization and Environmental Quality: An International Analysis of Water Pollution

  • Hilary Sigman

This paper explores the empirical effects of decentralization on environmental quality by studying water pollution in rivers around the world. It examines the level of pollution and variation in pollution across jurisdictions within a country, for both a local and a regional pollutant. Federal countries exhibit greater interjurisdictional variation in pollution, supporting the traditional view that decentralization allows policies more tailored to local conditions. However, the analysis does not point to a "race to the bottom" in pollution levels.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13098.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13098.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13098
Note: PE EEE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Hilary Sigman, 2001. "International Spillovers and Water Quality in Rivers: Do Countries Free Ride?," NBER Working Papers 8585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pashigian, B Peter, 1985. "Environmental Regulation: Whose Self-interests Are Being Protected?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(4), pages 551-84, October.
  3. Welsch, Heinz, 2004. "Corruption, growth, and the environment: a cross-country analysis," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(05), pages 663-693, October.
  4. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2000. "Decentralization and corruption - evidence across countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2290, The World Bank.
  5. Oates, Wallace E. & Schwab, Robert M., 1988. "Economic competition among jurisdictions: efficiency enhancing or distortion inducing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 333-354, April.
  6. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
  7. John A. List & Shelby Gerking, 2000. "Regulatory Federalism and Environmental Protection in the United States," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 453-471.
  8. Daniel L. Millimet, 2003. "Assessing the Empirical Impact of Environmental Federalism," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 711-733.
  9. Lockwood, Ben, 1998. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2046, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2002. "‘Optimal’ Pollution Abatement – Whose Benefits Matter, and How Much?," NCEE Working Paper Series 200205, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Sep 2002.
  11. Hilary Sigman, 2003. "Letting States do the Dirty Work: State Responsibility for Federal Environmental Regulation," NBER Working Papers 9451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  13. Arik Levinson, 2002. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evident," Working Papers gueconwpa~02-02-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  14. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
  15. Helland, Eric & Whitford, Andrew B., 2003. "Pollution incidence and political jurisdiction: evidence from the TRI," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 403-424, November.
  16. Fredriksson, Per G. & Millimet, Daniel L., 2002. "Strategic Interaction and the Determination of Environmental Policy across U.S. States," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 101-122, January.
  17. Congleton, Roger D, 1992. "Political Institutions and Pollution Control," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 412-21, August.
  18. Hilary Sigman, 2004. "Transboundary Spillovers and Decentralization of Environmental Policies," NBER Working Papers 10717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Silva, Emilson C. D. & Caplan, Arthur J., 1997. "Transboundary Pollution Control in Federal Systems," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 173-186, October.
  20. Bowman Cutter, W. & DeShazo, J.R., 2007. "The environmental consequences of decentralizing the decision to decentralize," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 32-53, January.
  21. Gene M. Grossman & Alan B. Krueger, 1994. "Economic Growth and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 4634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  23. Kunce, Mitch & Shogren, Jason F., 2005. "On interjurisdictional competition and environmental federalism," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 212-224, July.
  24. Koleman S. Strumpf & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 2002. "Endogenous Policy Decentralization: Testing the Central Tenet of Economic Federalism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-36, February.
  25. Barrett, Scott & Graddy, Kathryn, 2000. "Freedom, growth, and the environment," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(04), pages 433-456, October.
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