Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 31, 2003

Pollution Abatement Expenditure by U.S. Manufacturing Plants: Do Community Characteristics Matter?

Randy A Becker

Abstract

This paper examines whether community characteristics impact the air pollution abatement (APA) activity at nearby manufacturing plants, using establishment-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey. Controlling for facility characteristics and various forms of formal environmental regulation, certain community characteristics are found to have additional effects on local APA expenditures. In particular, for the most pollution-intensive industries, larger per capita income is found to increase plant-level APA activity, as is a higher degree of homeownership, a greater concentration of Democratic voters, and being located in a metropolitan area. Meanwhile, a greater presence of manufacturing employees is found to decrease APA expenditures, suggesting a constituency that is more resistant to additional regulation. If local populations can indeed affect pollution abatement activity, they can impact the spatial distribution of pollution, thereby creating pollution haven effects.

Published Online: 2003-12-31

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