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

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  • Arora, Seema
  • Cason, Timothy

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Arora, Seema & Cason, Timothy, 1996. "Do Community Characteristics Determine Environmental Outcomes? Evidence from the Toxics Release Inventory," Discussion Papers dp-97-12, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-97-12
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-97-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Douglas Anderton & Andy Anderson & John Oakes & Michael Fraser, 1994. "Environmental Equity: The Demographics of Dumping," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(2), pages 229-248, May.
    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. 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.
    5. 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 137-173, April.
    6. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    7. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shelby Gerking, 1998. "Spatial economic aspects of the environment and environmental policy: New directions for research," ERSA conference papers ersa98p384, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Paroma Sanyal & Nidhiya Menon, 2004. "Labor Regulations and Plant Location Choice: Evidence From India," Industrial Organization 0403007, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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