The Selective Enforcement of Government Regulation: Battleground States, State Regulators, and the EPA

54 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2016 Last revised: 16 Dec 2022

See all articles by Huseyin Gulen

Huseyin Gulen

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management

Brett W. Myers

Texas Tech, Rawls College of Business

Date Written: December 22, 2022

Abstract

The Electoral College creates incentives for politicians and regulators to direct policy favors toward "battleground" or "swing" states. We examine whether this affects regulatory enforcement and find that facilities in battleground states are less likely to be found in violation of the Clean Water Act, partially because the permit limits for facilities in these states are less restrictive. Identification is obtained by analyzing violation rates of similar facilities located along the border between battleground and non-battleground states. Reduced enforcement partly results from lax EPA oversight of state-level regulators, is widespread, and spans a sample period of over forty years.

Keywords: Regulation, regulatory enforcement, battleground states, swing states, public policy

JEL Classification: G18, L51, J18, K32, P48, I18

Suggested Citation

Gulen, Huseyin and Myers, Brett W., The Selective Enforcement of Government Regulation: Battleground States, State Regulators, and the EPA (December 22, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2826741 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2826741

Huseyin Gulen (Contact Author)

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

1310 Krannert Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

Brett W. Myers

Texas Tech, Rawls College of Business ( email )

Lubbock, TX 79407
United States

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