IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/9125.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Pollution Abatement - Whose Benefits Matter, and How Much?

Author

Listed:
  • Wayne B. Gray
  • Ronald J. Shadbegian

Abstract

We examine measures of environmental regulatory activity (inspections and enforcement actions) and levels of air and water pollution at approximately 300 U.S. pulp and paper mills, using data for 1985-1997. We find that levels of air and water pollution emissions are affected both by the benefits from pollution abatement and by the characteristics of the people exposed to the pollution. The results suggest substantial differences in the weights assigned to different types of people: the benefits received by out-of-state people seem to count only half as much as benefits received in-state, although their weight increases if the bordering state's Congressional delegation is strongly pro-environment. Some variables are also associated with greater regulatory activity being directed towards the plant, but those results are less consistent with our hypotheses than the pollution emissions results. One set of results was consistently contrary to expectations: plants with more nonwhites nearby emit less pollution. Some of our results might be due to endogenous sorting of people based on pollution levels, but an attempt to examine this using the local population turnover rate found evidence of sorting for only one of four pollutants.

Suggested Citation

  • Wayne B. Gray & Ronald J. Shadbegian, 2002. "Optimal Pollution Abatement - Whose Benefits Matter, and How Much?," NBER Working Papers 9125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9125
    Note: LS ED EEE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9125.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. James T. Hamilton, 1993. "Politics and Social Costs: Estimating the Impact of Collective Action on Hazardous Waste Facilities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 101-125, Spring.
    2. Robin R. Jenkins & Kelly B. Maguire & Cynthia L. Morgan, 2004. "Host Community Compensation and Municipal Solid Waste Landfills," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(4).
    3. Seema Arora & Timothy N. Cason, 1999. "Do Community Characteristics Influence Environmental Outcomes? Evidence from the Toxics Release Inventory," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 691-716, April.
    4. Carol Adaire Jones, 1989. "Standard setting with incomplete enforcement revisited," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 72-87.
    5. Magat, Wesley A & Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Effectiveness of the EPA's Regulatory Enforcement: The Case of Industrial Effluent Standards," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 331-360, October.
    6. Deily, Mary E. & Gray, Wayne B., 1991. "Enforcement of pollution regulations in a declining industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 260-274, November.
    7. James T. Hamilton, 1995. "Testing for environmental racism: Prejudice, profits, political power?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 107-132.
    8. Kahn, Matthew E., 1999. "The Silver Lining of Rust Belt Manufacturing Decline," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 360-376, November.
    9. James T. Hamilton & W. Kip Viscusi, 1999. "Are Risk Regulators Rational? Evidence from Hazardous Waste Cleanup Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1010-1027, September.
    10. Shadbegian Ronald J & Gray Wayne B, 2003. "What Determines Environmental Performance at Paper Mills? The Roles of Abatement Spending, Regulation, and Efficiency," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, November.
    11. Hilary Sigman, 2002. "International Spillovers and Water Quality in Rivers: Do Countries Free Ride?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1152-1159, September.
    12. Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Estimation of seemingly unrelated regressions with unequal numbers of observations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 365-377, May.
    13. Nadeau, Louis W., 1997. "EPA Effectiveness at Reducing the Duration of Plant-Level Noncompliance," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 54-78, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9125. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.