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Assessing Multi-Dimensional Performance: Environmental and Economic Outcomes

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Paper Number: 2005-05

Document Date: 06/13/2005

Authors: Ronald J. Shadbegian Wayne B. Gray

Subject Areas: Water Pollution; Air Pollution; Enforcement Issues; Environmental Policy

Keywords: environmental performance; labor productivity; emissions; enforcement; 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.

Attachment: 2005-05.pdf (339K, About PDF)

Journal Publication:Journal of Productivity Analysis 26.3 (2006): 213-34.

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