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

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  • Leon Taylor

    (Dillard University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Leon Taylor, 1998. "Do the states try to trade off environmental quality tomorrow for jobs today?," Public Economics 9810006, EconWPA, revised 20 Oct 1998.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:9810006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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 469-472, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Bruce Yandle, 1983. "Economic agents and the level of pollution control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 105-109, January.
    5. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gassebner & Noel Gaston & Michael J Lamla, 2008. "Relief For The Environment? The Importance Of An Increasingly Unimportant Industrial Sector," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 160-178, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hazardous waste; environmental federalism;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

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