‘Optimal’ Pollution Abatement – Whose Benefits Matter, and How Much?
In this paper we examine the allocation of environmental regulatory effort across U.S. pulp and paper mills, looking at measures of regulatory activity (inspections and enforcement actions) and levels of air and water pollution from those mills. We combine measures of the marginal benefits of air and water pollution abatement at each mill with measures of the characteristics of the people living near the mill. This allows for the possibility that some people may count less in the calculations of regulators (and polluters), either because they have less political clout or because they live in another jurisdiction. We perform the analyses using a plant-level panel data set with approximately 300 pulp and paper mills from 1985-1997. We find support for the importance of both the benefits from pollution abatement and political factors related to the people affected, particularly related to the amount of air and water pollution being emitted. The results suggest substantial differences in the weights assigned to different types of people. In some models the benefits received by out-of-state people seem to count only half as much as benefits received in-state, but their weight increases if the bordering state’s Congressmen are strongly pro-environment. A few of these variables are also associated with greater regulatory activity being directed towards the plant, although those results are less consistent with our hypotheses than the pollution 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, but an attempt to examine this using the local population turnover rate found evidence of sorting for only one of four pollutants.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2002|
|Date of revision:||Sep 2002|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20460|
Web page: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-economics
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Robin R. Jenkins & Kelly B. Maguire & Cynthia L. Morgan, 2004.
"Host Community Compensation and Municipal Solid Waste Landfills,"
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(4).
- Cynthia Morgan & Kelly B. Maguire & Robin R. Jenkins, 2002. "Host Community Compensation and Municipal Solid Waste Landfills," NCEE Working Paper Series 200204, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2002.
- 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.
- Seema Arora & Timothy N. Cason, 1998. "Do Community Characteristics Influence Environmental Outcomes?: Evidence from the Toxics Release Inventory," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 1, pages 413-453, November.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mary E. Deily & Wayne B. Gray, 1989. "Enforcement of pollution regulations in a declining industry," Working Paper 8912, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- 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.
- Kahn, Matthew E., 1999. "The Silver Lining of Rust Belt Manufacturing Decline," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 360-376, November.
- Matthew E. Kahn, 1998. "The Silver Lining of Rust Belt Manufacturing Decline," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1828, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ronald J. Shadbegian & Wayne B. Gray, 2003. "What Determines Environmental Performance at Paper Mills? The Roles of Abatement Spending, Regulation, and Efficiency," NCEE Working Paper Series 200303, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Apr 2003.
- Ronald J Shadbegian & Wayne B Gray, 2003. "What Determines Environmental Performance at Paper Mills? The Roles of Abatement Spending, Regulation, and Efficiency," Working Papers 03-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- 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.
- Hilary Sigman, 2001. "International Spillovers and Water Quality in Rivers: Do Countries Free Ride?," NBER Working Papers 8585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hilary Sigman, 2001. "International Spillovers and Water Quality in Rivers: Do Countries Free Ride?," Departmental Working Papers 200111, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Estimation of seemingly unrelated regressions with unequal numbers of observations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 365-377, May.
- 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)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200205. 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: (Cynthia Morgan)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.