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Two Birds, One Stone? Local Pollution Regulation and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

52 Pages Posted: 12 May 2016 Last revised: 14 Mar 2017

Claire Brunel

American University School of International Service; Georgetown University - Department of Economics; Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics

Erik P Johnson

Georgia Institute of Technology

Date Written: March 1, 2017

Abstract

In most countries, environmental regulation focuses on local pollution, which causes damages near the emission source, while regulation on global pollutants such as greenhouse gases (GHG) has been slow. Theoretically, local and global pollutants can either be substitutes or complements in production, implying that local pollution regulation may either intensify or reduce global warming concerns. We exploit new data on US GHG emissions and variation in local pollution regulation across US counties to estimate this relationship. We find no evidence that more stringent local pollution regulation changes GHG emissions from manufacturing sectors. Therefore, local pollution regulation will not suffice to address global warming.

Keywords: Environmental regulation, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, air pollution

JEL Classification: Q52, Q53, Q54, Q58, H23

Suggested Citation

Brunel, Claire and Johnson, Erik P, Two Birds, One Stone? Local Pollution Regulation and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (March 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2778386 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2778386

Claire Brunel (Contact Author)

American University School of International Service ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Erik Paul Johnson

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

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