Redistribution, Delegation, and Regulators’ Incentives: Evidence from the Clean Air Act

54 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2013

See all articles by Antonio M. Bento

Antonio M. Bento

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Matthew Freedman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics

Corey Lang

University of Rhode Island

Date Written: February 16, 2013

Abstract

Taking advantage of the structure of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA), we study the tradeoff between efficiency and equity associated with different levels of discretionary power when delegating regulatory authority to lower levels of government. Exploiting an instrumental variables approach, we provide evidence that the benefits of the 1990 CAAA were highly localized and accrued disproportionately to poorer households. Further, under the current structure of the 1990 CAAA, it costs at most about $1.30 for every $1 worth of air quality improvements transferred from richer to poorer areas, suggesting that the program does not entail a large tradeoff between efficiency and equity.

Keywords: redistribution, delegation, regulation, hedonics, housing markets, Clean Air Act

JEL Classification: H23, Q51, Q52, Q58, L51, R38

Suggested Citation

Bento, Antonio M. and Freedman, Matthew and Lang, Corey, Redistribution, Delegation, and Regulators’ Incentives: Evidence from the Clean Air Act (February 16, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2219523 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2219523

Antonio M. Bento (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

Matthew Freedman

University of California, Irvine - Department of Economics ( email )

3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697-5100
United States

Corey Lang

University of Rhode Island ( email )

Quinn Hall
55 Lower College Rd.
Kingston, RI 02881
United States

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