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When Do Firms Shift Production Across States to Avoid Environmental Regulation?

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  • Wayne B. Gray
  • Ronald J. Shadbegian

Abstract

This paper takes a new approach to testing the impact of state environmental regulatory stringency on firms' location decisions, focusing on firms' allocation of production across states. We use Census data for the paper industry to measure the share of each firm's production in each state during 1967-2002. We use a conditional logit model, controlling for a variety of state characteristics that influence firm costs and revenues, and testing several measures of state environmental stringency. Firms allocate significantly smaller production shares to states with stricter regulations, but there is significant heterogeneity across firms in their sensitivity to regulatory stringency. Firms with low compliance rates are more sensitive than firms with high compliance rates, consistent with a model where compliance rates are driven by differences across firms in the costs of compliance, rather than in the benefits of compliance.

Suggested Citation

  • Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2002. "When Do Firms Shift Production Across States to Avoid Environmental Regulation?," NBER Working Papers 8705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8705
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B., 2005. "Regulator reputation, enforcement, and environmental compliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 519-540, November.
    2. Martin T. Ross & Michael P. Gallaher & Brian C. Murray & Wanda W. Throneburg & Arik Levinson, 2004. "PACE Survey: Background, Applications, and Data Quality Issues," NCEE Working Paper Series 200409, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jul 2004.
    3. Shu-Chen Chang, 2015. "Threshold effect of foreign direct investment on environmental degradation," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 14(1), pages 75-102, December.
    4. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Wu, Shanshan, 2008. "Industrial activity and the environment in China: An industry-level analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 393-408, September.
    5. Jay P. Shimshack & Michael B. Ward, 2004. "Enforcement and Environmental Compliance: A Statistical Analysis of the Pulp and Paper Industry," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0414, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    6. Fei Han & Junming Li, 2022. "Spatial Pattern and Spillover of Abatement Effect of Chinese Environmental Protection Tax Law on PM 2.5 Pollution," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(3), pages 1-16, January.
    7. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Shimamoto, Kenichi, 2005. "Industrial characteristics, environmental regulations and air pollution: an analysis of the UK manufacturing sector," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 121-143, July.
    8. You Wu & Jichuan Sheng & Fang Huang, 2015. "China’s future investments in environmental protection and control of manufacturing industry: lessons from developed countries," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 77(3), pages 1889-1901, July.
    9. Rijal, Binish & Khanna, Neha, 2020. "High priority violations and intra-firm pollution substitution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).

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    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation

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