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A Change of PACE: Comparing the 1994 and 1999 Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures Surveys

  • Randy A. Becker
  • Ronald J. Shadbegian

Since 1973, the Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey has been the principle source of information on U.S. industries’ capital expenditure and operating costs associated with pollution abatement efforts. The PACE survey was discontinued after 1994 and then revived in 1999 for one year – in a substantially different form than the preceding surveys however, making longitudinal analysis quite difficult. Conceptual differences include matters as fundamental as the scope and meaning of pollution abatement as well as the definition of operating costs. A number of other critical changes also exist, including ones of industrial coverage and sample selection. This paper is the first comprehensive effort to document the many changes in the PACE survey across these years and to provide a detailed guide for researchers and policymakers who wish to compare the 1994 and 1999 data. Overall, we find a 27% decline in environmental spending by the manufacturing sector between these two years, though there appears to be significant heterogeneity across industries. We discuss potential reasons for this dramatic decline, focusing mainly on issues of survey methodology and design. This paper should help inform current efforts to redevelop the PACE survey and re-establish it as a regular, annual survey.

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File URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/WPNumber/2004-08/$File/2004-08.PDF
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Paper provided by National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its series NCEE Working Paper Series with number 200408.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision: Jul 2004
Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200408
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  1. Arik Levinson, 2001. "An Industry-Adjusted Index of State Environmental Compliance Costs," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy, pages 131-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gray, Wayne B & Shadbegian, Ronald J, 1998. "Environmental Regulation, Investment Timing, and Technology Choice," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 235-56, June.
  3. Eli Berman & Linda T.M. Bui, 1998. "Environmental Regulation and Productivity: Evidence from Oil Refineries," NBER Working Papers 6776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Becker, Randy A., 2005. "Air pollution abatement costs under the Clean Air Act: evidence from the PACE survey," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 144-169, July.
  5. Randy Becker, 2003. "Pollution Abatement Expenditure by U.S. Manufacturing Plants: Do Community Characteristics Matter?," Working Papers 03-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. William T. Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Molloy Wilson, 2002. "Reexamining The Empirical Evidence For An Environmental Kuznets Curve," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 541-551, August.
  7. Ronald J. Shadbegian & Wayne B. Gray, 2003. "Pollution Abatement Expenditures and Plant-Level Productivity: A Production Function Approach," NCEE Working Paper Series 200305, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2003.
  8. 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.
  9. Carlo Carraro & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2000. "Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy Introduction," NBER Working Papers 7648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Burtraw, Dallas & Krupnick, Alan & Pizer, William & Morgenstern, Richard & Shih, Jhih-Shyang, 2001. "Workshop Report: Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) Survey Design for 2000 and Beyond," Discussion Papers dp-01-09, Resources For the Future.
  11. Randy Becker & Vernon Henderson, 2000. "Effects of Air Quality Regulations on Polluting Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 379-421, April.
  12. Wayne B Gray & Ronald J Shadbegian, 1994. "Pollution Abatement Costs, Regulation And Plant-Level Productivity," Working Papers 94-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Rich Iovanna & Kelly Maguire & Al McGartland, 2003. "The Pace of PACE at the Environmental Protection Agency," NCEE Working Paper Series 200307, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2003.
  14. Barbera, Anthony J & McConnell, Virginia D, 1986. "Effects of Pollution Control on Industry Productivity: A Factor Demand Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(2), pages 161-72, December.
  15. 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.
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