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Working Paper: Assessing Multi-Dimensional Performances: Environmental and Economic Outcomes

Paper Number: 2005-05

Document Date: 06/2005

Author(s): Ronald J. Shadbegian and Wayne B. Gray

Subject Area(s): Water Pollution; Air Pollution; Enforcement Issues; Environmental Policy

Keywords: environmental performance; labor productivity; emissions; enforcement activity; technology

Abstract: This study examines the determinants of environmental and economic performance for plants in three traditional smoke-stack industries: pulp and paper, oil, and steel. We combine data from Census Bureau and EPA databases and Compustat on the economic performance, regulatory activity and environmental performance on air and water pollution emissions and toxic releases. We find that plants with higher labor productivity tend to have lower emissions. Regulatory enforcement actions (but not inspections) are associated with lower emissions, and state-level political support for environmental issues is associated with lower water pollution and toxic releases. There is little evidence that plants owned by larger firms perform better, nor do older plants perform worse.

Published: Gray, Wayne B. and Ronald J. Shadbegian. 2006. "Assessing Multi-Dimensional Performance: Environmental and Economic Outcomes,"Journal of Productivity Analysis 26(3): 213-234.

This paper is part of the Environmental Economics Working Paper Series.

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