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How Do Energy Prices, and Labor and Environmental Regulations Affect Local Manufacturing Employment Dynamics? A Regression Discontinuity Approach

  • Matthew E. Kahn
  • Erin T. Mansur

Manufacturing industries differ with respect to their energy intensity, labor-to-capital ratio and their pollution intensity. Across the United States, there is significant variation in electricity prices and labor and environmental regulation. This paper uses a regression discontinuity approach to examine whether the basic logic of comparative advantage can explain the geographical clustering of U.S. manufacturing. Using a unified empirical framework, we document that energy-intensive industries concentrate in low electricity price counties, labor-intensive industries avoid pro-union counties, and pollution-intensive industries locate in counties featuring relatively lax Clean Air Act regulation. We use our estimates to predict the likely jobs impacts of regional carbon mitigation efforts.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16538.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16538.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Publication status: published as Do Local Energy Prices and Regulation Affect the Geographic Concentration of Employment? (Joint with Erin Mansur), Journal of Public Economics Volume 101, May 2013, Pages 105-114
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16538
Note: EEE IO
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  1. Mohammad Arzaghi & J. Vernon Henderson, 2008. "Networking off Madison Avenue," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1011-1038.
  2. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
  3. Olivier Deschênes, 2011. "Climate Policy and Labor Markets," NBER Chapters, in: The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy, pages 37-49 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Berman, Eli & Bui, Linda T. M., 2001. "Environmental regulation and labor demand: evidence from the South Coast Air Basin," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 265-295, February.
  5. Carlton, Dennis W, 1983. "The Location and Employment Choices of New Firms: An Econometric Model with Discrete and Continuous Endogenous Variables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 440-49, August.
  6. Joshua Linn, 2009. "Why Do Energy Prices Matter? The Role Of Interindustry Linkages In U.S. Manufacturing," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 47(3), pages 549-567, 07.
  7. Stephen P. Holland & Erin T. Mansur, 2007. "Is Real-Time Pricing Green? The Environmental Impacts of Electricity Demand Variance," NBER Working Papers 13508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Steven Davis & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger & Mary Streitwieser, 2007. "Electricity Pricing to U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-2000," Working Papers 07-28, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Randy Becker & Vernon Henderson, 2000. "Effects of Air Quality Regulations on Polluting Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 379-421, April.
  10. Kahn, Matthew E., 1997. "Particulate pollution trends in the United States," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 87-107, February.
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