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Do the states try to trade off environmental quality tomorrow for jobs today?

  • Leon Taylor

    (Dillard University)

The paper models and tests the hypothesis that a self-interested policymaker will pursue projects that create jobs now at the environmental expense of future generations. An optimal-control model shows that jurisdictions are most likely to pursue such a project when they are characterized by low income, high unemployment, politically powerful industry, pollution-intensive industry, poorly functioning land markets, or residents who are near the end of their lives. The paper tests the model with OLS specifications of subnational expenditures per capita in the U.S. for hazardous waste in the 1980s and for air pollution in the 1960s. The results reject the hypothesis that jurisdictions try to trade off future environmental quality for current manufacturing jobs. The results instead suggest a powerful relationship between housing values and environmental expenditures.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 9810006.

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Date of creation: 17 Oct 1998
Date of revision: 19 Oct 1998
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:9810006
Note: Type of Document - LaTex; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP;
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  2. Timothy J. Bartik, 2002. "The Effects of Environmental Regulation on Business Location in the United States," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Wayne B. Gray (ed.), Economic Costs and Consequences of Environmental Regulation, pages 129-151 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  3. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  4. Bruce Yandle, 1983. "Economic agents and the level of pollution control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 105-109, January.
  5. Virginia D. McConnell & Robert M. Schwab, 1990. "The Impact of Environmental Regulation on Industry Location Decisions: The Motor Vehicle Industry," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(1), pages 67-81.
  6. Cropper, Maureen L & Aydede, Sema K & Portney, Paul R, 1992. "Rates of Time Preference for Saving Lives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 469-72, May.
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