On Spatial Heterogeneity in Environmental Compliance Costs

36 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2009 Last revised: 14 Jan 2010

See all articles by Randy A. Becker

Randy A. Becker

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies

Date Written: January 1, 2010

Abstract

This paper examines the extent of variation in regulatory stringency below the state level, using establishment-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey to estimate a county-level index of environmental compliance costs (ECC). County-level variation is found to explain 11-18 times more of the variation in ECC than state-level variation alone, and the range of ECC within a state is often large. At least 34% of U.S. counties have ECC that are statistically different from their states’. Results suggest that important spatial variation is lost in state-level studies of environmental regulation.

Keywords: environmental costs, regulation, manufacturing, U.S. counties

JEL Classification: Q52, R52, H73

Suggested Citation

Becker, Randy A., On Spatial Heterogeneity in Environmental Compliance Costs (January 1, 2010). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP-09-25R, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1476502 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1476502

Randy A. Becker (Contact Author)

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States

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