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Do Community Characteristics Determine Environmental Outcomes? Evidence from the Toxics Release Inventory

  • Arora, Seema
  • Cason, Timothy

This research uses neighborhood characteristics (at the zipcode level) to explain changes in toxic releases between 1990 and 1993. It combines the Toxics Release Inventory data with demographic data from the 1990 US Census. We first analyze the location of manufacturing facilities in a particular neighborhood using a sample selection model, and then attribute changes in the level of emissions between 1990 and 1993 to the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the neighborhood in 1990. The results indicate that variables likely to affect the propensity for communities to engage in political action significantly influence environmental performance. Economic characteristics of neighborhoods (such as income levels and unemployment) also affect changes in releases. Release changes in the Southeastern US exhibit a pattern consistent with racial injustice.

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File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-97-12.pdf
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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-97-12.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 1996
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-97-12
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.rff.org

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  1. 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.
  2. Seema Arora & Timothy N. Cason, 1996. "Why Do Firms Volunteer to Exceed Environmental Regulations? Understanding Participation in EPA's 33/50 Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(4), pages 413-432.
  3. Pargal, Sheoli & Wheeler, David, 1995. "Informal regulation of industrial pollution in developing countries : evidence from Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1416, The World Bank.
  4. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  5. Douglas Anderton & Andy Anderson & John Oakes & Michael Fraser, 1994. "Environmental Equity: The Demographics of Dumping," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 229-248, May.
  6. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  7. Arora Seema & Cason Timothy N., 1995. "An Experiment in Voluntary Environmental Regulation: Participation in EPA's 33/50 Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 271-286, May.
  8. Kahn, Matthew E & Matsusaka, John G, 1997. "Demand for Environmental Goods: Evidence from Voting Patterns on California Initiatives," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(1), pages 137-73, April.
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