Environmental Economics Seminar
Do Regulators Strategically Avoid Pollution Hotspots when Siting Monitors? Evidence from Remote Sensing of Air Pollution
Associate Professor in the Ag & Applied Economics Department at University of Wisconsin.
Ambient air pollution monitors are used to track pollution, and the data are used in regulatory settings and research. We identify a principal-agent problem where the local regulator has an incentive to avoid siting monitors in polluted areas but the ability to do so is dampened in nonattainment counties. To test for strategic behavior, we employ satellite-derived pollution estimates to characterize pollution at non-monitored locations. Leveraging the discontinuity at the nonattainment threshold, we find evidence of avoidance by local regulators in attainment counties. Our results suggest that monitoring data in attainment counties systematically understates ambient pollution compared to nonattainment counties.
Co-authors : Andrew Schreiber and Wonjun Chang
Montpellier SupAgro / INRA - Bat. 26 - Centre de documentation Pierre Bartoli
2 Place Viala 34000 Montpellier
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