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The Distribution of Pollution in the United States: An Environmental Gini Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Millimet, Daniel L.

    (Southern Methodist University)

  • Slottje, Daniel

    (Southern Methodist University)

Abstract

The concepts of an environmental Gini coefficient along with a measure of ''pollution elasticity'' are introduced and used to analyze the distribution of pollution across U.S. states from 1988 -- 1996. The special properties of the Gini coefficient allow one to decompose overall pollution inequality into several components based on pollution type and predict the effects on overall pollution inequality from stricter regulations on particular types of emissions. In addition, an environmental welfare function -- analogous to Sen's social welfare function -- is derived and used along with the extended Gini to analyze the impact of tighter environmental regulations on different types of emissions. Finally, Spearman correlations between per capita emissions and state attributes are used to assess whether states at the upper tail of the pollution distribution are randomly assigned. The emissions data is obtained from the U.S. EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).

Suggested Citation

  • Millimet, Daniel L. & Slottje, Daniel, 1999. "The Distribution of Pollution in the United States: An Environmental Gini Approach," Departmental Working Papers 002, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:002
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    File URL: ftp://ftp1.economics.smu.edu/WorkingPapers/1999/millimet/gini.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Brooks, Nancy & Sethi, Rajiv, 1997. "The Distribution of Pollution: Community Characteristics and Exposure to Air Toxics," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 233-250, February.
    2. Cropper, Maureen L. & Simon, Nathalie B. & Alberini, Anna & Sharma, P. K., 1997. "The health effects of air pollution in Delhi, India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1860, The World Bank.
    3. Ostro, Bart D. & Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Feyzioglu, Tarhan & Sanchez, Jose Miguel, 1998. "Air pollution and health effects - a study of respiratory illness among children in Santiago, Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1932, The World Bank.
    4. Harrison, David Jr. & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1978. "The distribution of benefits from improvements in urban air quality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 313-332, December.
    5. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-156, February.
    6. Lerman, Robert I. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1984. "A note on the calculation and interpretation of the Gini index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 363-368.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2002. "Do we need a separate poverty measurement?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 61-85, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pollution; Gini Coefficient; Inequality; Environmental Justice; Environmental Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location
    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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