The Selective Enforcement of Government Regulation: Battleground States and the EPA
49 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2016 Last revised: 7 Jul 2017
Date Written: July 06, 2017
The Electoral College creates incentives for politicians and regulators to direct policy favors to "battleground" states, which represent the median voter in presidential elections. We determine whether regulators treat battleground states favorably by examining whether the EPA is less likely to find a regulated facility in violation of the Clean Water Act if it is in a battleground state. We find that violation rates for these facilities are significantly lower than those in non-battleground states. Identification is obtained by the analysis of the violation rates of similar facilities located along the border between battleground and non-battleground states.
Keywords: Regulation, regulatory enforcement, battleground states, swing states, public policy
JEL Classification: G12, G18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation