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band Labor Demand: Evidence from the South Coast Air Basin

  • Eli Berman
  • Linda T. Bui

The devolved nature of environmental regulation provides an excellent opportunity for" estimating the effects of regulation on employment, by generating rich variation in regulation" across regions and over time. We exploit this variation using direct measures of regulation and" plant data. We estimate the employment effects of an unprecedented increase in air quality" regulation in the Los Angeles region, using unregulated plants in other regions years for comparison. While environmental regulation is generally thought to reduce" employment, economic theory is ambiguous on this point, since pollution abatement technologies" may be labor using. We find that air quality regulation induced very expensive investments in" abatement capital for individual plants, especially for oil refineries. Despite these high costs we" find no evidence that environmental regulation decreased labor demand induced plant exit and dissuaded plant entry. If anything, air quality regulation probably inc-" reased employment slightly.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6299.

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Date of creation: Dec 1997
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Publication status: published as Berman, Eli and Linda T. M. Bui. "Environmental Regulation And Productivity: Evidence From Oil Refineries," Review of Economics and Statistics, 2001, v83(3,Aug), 498-510.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6299
Note: LS PR
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  1. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
  2. Wayne B Gray & Ronald J Shadbegian, 1993. "Environmental Regulation And Manufacturing Productivity At The Plant Level," Working Papers 93-6, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Gray, Wayne B, 1987. "The Cost of Regulation: OSHA, EPA and the Productivity Slowdown," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 998-1006, December.
  4. Wayne B Gray, 1997. "Manufacturing Plant Location: Does State Pollution Regulation Matter?," Working Papers 97-8, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Bartel, Ann P & Thomas, Lacy Glenn, 1987. "Predation through Regulation: The Wage and Profit Effects of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 239-64, October.
  6. Levinson, Arik, 1996. "Environmental regulations and manufacturers' location choices: Evidence from the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 5-29, October.
  7. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
  8. Gollop, Frank M & Roberts, Mark J, 1983. "Environmental Regulations and Productivity Growth: The Case of Fossil-Fueled Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 654-74, August.
  9. Christainsen, Gregory B. & Haveman, Robert H., 1981. "The contribution of environmental regulations to the slowdown in productivity growth," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 381-390, December.
  10. Barbera, Anthony J. & McConnell, Virginia D., 1990. "The impact of environmental regulations on industry productivity: Direct and indirect effects," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 50-65, January.
  11. Pashigian, B Peter, 1984. "The Effect of Environmental Regulation on Optimal Plant Size and Factor Shares," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, April.
  12. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
  13. Mary L Streitwieser, 1996. "Evaluation And Use Of The Pollution Abatement Costs And Expenditures Survey Micro Data," Working Papers 96-1, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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