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Do EPA Regulations Affect Labor Demand? Evidence from the Pulp and Paper Industry

Author

Listed:
  • Ronald J. Shadbegian
  • Wayne B. Gray
  • Chumbei Wang
  • Merve Cebi

Abstract

Many believe that environmental regulation must reduce employment, since regulations are expected to increase production costs, raising prices and reducing demand for output. A careful microeconomic analysis shows that this not guaranteed. Even if environmental regulation reduces output in the regulated industry, abating pollution could require additional labor (e.g. to monitor the abatement capital and meet EPA reporting requirements). Pollution abatement technologies could also be labor enhancing. In this paper we analyze how a particular EPA regulation, the “Cluster Rule” (CR) imposed on the pulp and paper industry in 2001, affected employment in that sector. Using establishment level data from the Census of Manufacturers and Annual Survey of Manufacturers at the U.S. Census Bureau from 1992-2007 we find evidence of small employment declines (on the order of 3%-7%), sometimes statistically significant, at a subset of the plants covered by the CR.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald J. Shadbegian & Wayne B. Gray & Chumbei Wang & Merve Cebi, 2013. "Do EPA Regulations Affect Labor Demand? Evidence from the Pulp and Paper Industry," NCEE Working Paper Series 201303, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp201303
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    File URL: https://www.epa.gov/environmental-economics/working-paper-do-epa-regulations-affect-labor-demand-evidence-pulp-and-paper
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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.
    2. 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.
    3. Berman, Eli & Bui, Linda T. M., 2001. "Environmental regulation and labor demand: evidence from the South Coast Air Basin," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 265-295, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Eli Berman & Linda T. M. Bui, 2001. "Environmental Regulation And Productivity: Evidence From Oil Refineries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 498-510, August.
    6. Shadbegian, Ronald J. & Gray, Wayne B., 2005. "Pollution abatement expenditures and plant-level productivity: A production function approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2-3), pages 196-208, August.
    7. Morgenstern, Richard D. & Pizer, William A. & Shih, Jhih-Shyang, 2002. "Jobs Versus the Environment: An Industry-Level Perspective," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 412-436, May.
    8. Ronald Shadbegian & Wayne Gray, 2006. "Assessing multi-dimensional performance: environmental and economic outcomes," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 213-234, December.
    9. Gray, Wayne B & Shadbegian, Ronald J, 1998. "Environmental Regulation, Investment Timing, and Technology Choice," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 235-256, June.
    10. Laplante, Benoit & Rilstone, Paul, 1996. "Environmental Inspections and Emissions of the Pulp and Paper Industry in Quebec," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 19-36, July.
    11. 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.
    12. W. Reed Walker, 2011. "Environmental Regulation and Labor Reallocation: Evidence from the Clean Air Act," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 442-447, May.
    13. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    14. Michael Greenstone, 2002. "The Impacts of Environmental Regulations on Industrial Activity: Evidence from the 1970 and 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments and the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1175-1219, December.
    15. Fare, R. & Grosskopf, S. & Pasurka, C., 1986. "Effects on relative efficiency in electric power generation due to environmental controls," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 167-184, June.
    16. Karikallio, Hanna & Mäki-Fränti, Petri & Suhonen, Niko, 2011. "Competition in the global pulp and paper industries - An evaluation based on three approaches," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 91-104, January.
    17. Cole Matthew A & Elliott Rob J, 2007. "Do Environmental Regulations Cost Jobs? An Industry-Level Analysis of the UK," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-27, June.
    18. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert J R Elliott & Joanne K Lindley, 2014. "Green Jobs and Growth in the United States: Green Shoots or False Dawn?," Discussion Papers 14-09, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:eee:jeeman:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:164-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:jeeman:v:86:y:2017:i:c:p:277-294 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:spr:empeco:v:54:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1205-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Löschel, Andreas & Lutz, Benjamin Johannes & Managi, Shunsuke, 2016. "The impacts of the EU ETS on efficiency: An empirical analyses for German manufacturing firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-089, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. repec:spr:envpol:v:19:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10018-016-0174-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. Ann E. Ferris & Ronald J. Shadbegian & Ann Wolverton, 2014. "The Effect of Environmental Regulation on Power Sector Employment: Phase I of the Title IV SO2 Trading Program," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 521-553.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cluster Rule; regulatory costs; multimedia regulation; employment effects;

    JEL classification:

    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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