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

Author

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

Abstract

This paper examines whether a firm's allocation of production across its plants responds to the environmental regulation faced by those plants, as measured by differences in stringency across states. We also test whether sensitivity to regulation differs based on differences across firms in compliance behavior and/or differences across states in industry importance and concentration. We use Census data for the paper and oil industries to measure the share of each state in each firm's production during the 1967-1992 period. We use several measures of state environmental stringency and test for interactions between regulatory stringency and three factors: the firm's overall compliance rate, a Herfindahl index of industry concentration in the state, and the industry’s share in the state economy. We find significant results for the paper industry: firms allocate smaller production shares to states with stricter regulations. This impact is concentrated among firms with low compliance rates, suggesting that low compliance rates are due to high compliance costs, not low compliance benefits. The interactions between stringency and industry characteristics are less often significant, but suggest that the paper industry is more affected by regulation where it is larger or more concentrated. Our results are weaker for the oil industry, reflecting either less opportunity to shift production across states or a greater impact of environmental regulation on paper mills.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald J. Shadbegian & Wayne B. Gray, 2002. "When Do Firms Shift Production Across State to Avoid Environmental Regulation?," NCEE Working Paper Series 200202, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Feb 2002.
  • Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200202
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    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. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Regulation; state regulatory stringency; Procution allocation; compliance;

    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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