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Assessing Multi-Dimensional Performance: Environmental and Economic Outcomes

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  • Ronald J. Shadbegian
  • Wayne B. Gray

Abstract

This study examines the determinants of environmental and economic performance for plants in three traditional smoke-stack industries: pulp and paper, oil, and steel. We combine data from Census Bureau and EPA databases and Compustat on the economic performance, regulatory activity and environmental performance on air and water pollution emissions and toxic releases. We find that plants with higher labor productivity tend to have lower emissions. Regulatory enforcement actions (but not inspections) are associated with lower emissions, and state-level political support for environmental issues is associated with lower water pollution and toxic releases. There is little evidence that plants owned by larger firms perform better, nor do older plants perform worse.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald J. Shadbegian & Wayne B. Gray, 2005. "Assessing Multi-Dimensional Performance: Environmental and Economic Outcomes," NCEE Working Paper Series 200505, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Jun 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp200505
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    5. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, Ronald J., 2003. "Plant vintage, technology, and environmental regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 384-402, November.
    6. Boyd, Gale A. & McClelland, John D., 1999. "The Impact of Environmental Constraints on Productivity Improvement in Integrated Paper Plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 121-142, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin, Ralf & Muûls, Mirabelle & de Preux, Laure B. & Wagner, Ulrich J., 2012. "Anatomy of a paradox: Management practices, organizational structure and energy efficiency," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 208-223.
    2. Becchetti, Leonardo & Ciciretti, Rocco & Giovannelli, Alessandro, 2013. "Corporate social responsibility and earnings forecasting unbiasedness," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3654-3668.
    3. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, Ronald J. & Wang, Chunbei & Meral, Merve, 2014. "Do EPA regulations affect labor demand? Evidence from the pulp and paper industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 188-202.
    4. Kjetil Telle, 2009. "The threat of regulatory environmental inspection: impact on plant performance," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 154-178, April.
    5. Shital Sharma, 2013. "Environmental Regulation, Abatement, and Productivity: A Frontier Analysis," Working Papers 13-51, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Yoshifumi Konishi & Nori Tarui, 2015. "Emissions Trading, Firm Heterogeneity, and Intra-industry Reallocations in the Long Run," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-42.
    7. Deborah Aiken & Rolf Färe & Shawna Grosskopf & Carl Pasurka, 2009. "Pollution Abatement and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(1), pages 11-28, September.
    8. Linn, Joshua & Mastrangelo, Erin & Burtraw, Dallas, 2013. "Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Coal Power Plants under the Clean Air Act," Discussion Papers dp-13-05, Resources For the Future.
    9. Daniel Matisoff, 2012. "Privatizing Climate Change Policy: Is there a Public Benefit?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(3), pages 409-433, November.
    10. Ann Ferris & Ronald J. Shadbegian & Ann Wolverton, 2014. "The Effect of Environmental Regulation on Employment: An Examination of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and its Impact on the Electric Power Sector," NCEE Working Paper Series 201403, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Feb 2014.
    11. Fraas, Art & Egorenkov, Alex, 2015. "A Retrospective Study of EPA’s Air Toxics Program under the Revised Section 112 Requirements of the Clean Air Act," Discussion Papers dp-15-23, Resources For the Future.
    12. Thomas Broberg & Per-Olov Marklund & Eva Samakovlis & Henrik Hammar, 2013. "Testing the Porter hypothesis: the effects of environmental investments on efficiency in Swedish industry," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 43-56, August.
    13. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, Ronald J., 2015. "Multimedia Pollution Regulation and Environmental Performance: EPA’s Cluster Rule," Discussion Papers dp-15-26, Resources For the Future.
    14. Brännlund, Runar & Lundgren, Tommy & Marklund, Per-Olov, 2014. "Carbon intensity in production and the effects of climate policy—Evidence from Swedish industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 844-857.
    15. Leonardo Becchetti & Giovanni Trovato, 2011. "Corporate social responsibility and firm efficiency: a latent class stochastic frontier analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 231-246, December.
    16. Thanh Tam Nguyen-Huu & Minh Nguyen-Khac & Quoc Tran-Nam, 2017. "The role of environmental regulations and innovation in TFP convergence: Evidence from manufacturing SMEs in Viet Nam," WIDER Working Paper Series 092, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    17. Fleishman, Rachel & Alexander, Rob & Bretschneider, Stuart & Popp, David, 2009. "Does regulation stimulate productivity? The effect of air quality policies on the efficiency of US power plants," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4574-4582, November.
    18. Bethany DeSalvo & Frank F. Limehouse & Shawn D. Klimek, 2016. "Documenting the Business Register and Related Economic Business Data," Working Papers 16-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    19. Claudia Poser & Edeltraud Guenther & Marc Orlitzky, 2012. "Shades of green: using computer-aided qualitative data analysis to explore different aspects of corporate environmental performance," Metrika: International Journal for Theoretical and Applied Statistics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 413-450, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    environmental performance; labor productivity; emissions; enforcement; technology;

    JEL classification:

    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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