A Change of Pace: Comparing the 1994 and 1999 Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures Surveys

Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 63-95, 2005

41 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2009

See all articles by Randy A. Becker

Randy A. Becker

U.S. Census Bureau - Center for Economic Studies

Ronald J. Shadbegian

University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Date Written: June 1, 2004

Abstract

Since 1973, the Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey has been the principle source of information on U.S. industries’ capital expenditure and operating costs associated with pollution abatement efforts. The PACE survey was discontinued after 1994 and then revived in 1999 for one year - in a substantially different form than the preceding surveys however, making longitudinal analysis quite difficult. Conceptual differences include matters as fundamental as the scope and meaning of pollution abatement as well as the definition of operating costs. A number of other critical changes also exist, including ones of industrial coverage and sample selection. This paper is the first comprehensive effort to document the many changes in the PACE survey across these years and to provide a detailed guide for researchers and policymakers who wish to compare the 1994 and 1999 data. Overall, we find a 27% decline in environmental spending by the manufacturing sector between these two years, though there appears to be significant heterogeneity across industries. We discuss potential reasons for this dramatic decline, focusing mainly on issues of survey methodology and design. This paper should help inform current efforts to redevelop the PACE survey and re-establish it as a regular, annual survey.

Keywords: pollution abatement, survey data, environmental costs, manufacturing

JEL Classification: Q52, C81, L6

Suggested Citation

Becker, Randy A. and Shadbegian, Ronald J., A Change of Pace: Comparing the 1994 and 1999 Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures Surveys (June 1, 2004). Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 63-95, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1507993

Randy A. Becker (Contact Author)

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

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States

Ronald J. Shadbegian

University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth ( email )

North Dartmouth, MA 02747
United States

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ( email )

Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
United States

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