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Research Seminar: Glenn Sheriff
September 13 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Join us on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 3:30pm in Engineering Hall room 211 for a research seminar with Glenn Sheriff.
Does the flexibility of market-based mechanisms for pollution abatement come at the expense of a shift in emissions towards low income and minority communities? Here we analyze the demographic distribution NOx emissions by facilities participating in Southern California’s RECLAIM trading program in the 1990s. We use a matching algorithm to compare actual RECLAIM NOx emission distributions after the program to a counterfactual emissions distribution likely to have prevailed under command-and-control regulations. We find that welfare unambiguously increased for all demographic groups under RECLAIM relative to both pre-policy and counterfactual scenarios. Although part of these welfare gains are due to lower aggregate emissions under RECLAIM, we find that the market generated a more equitable distribution of emissions even after controlling for average emission levels. Population shifts over time may have undermined anticipated gains for African Americans, but not for individuals below the poverty line.