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Environmental Economics Seminar: Does mandatory labeling of outfall points influence pollution and compliance?

Date and Time

Thursday 11/17/2016 3:30PM to 5:00PM EST
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Room 4128, William Jefferson Clinton West Building
1301 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001


Contact: Carl Pasurka, 202-566-2275

Presenter: Xian Liu (School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis)

Jay Shimshack (Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, Univ. of Virginia)

Presenting – Jay Shimshack

Description: This is the first paper to explore if compulsory public labeling of pollution point sources influences facilities’ environmental performance and compliance. Although theory and policy experience predict ambiguous effects from mandatory information disclosure, we show that an Ohio program that required visible signs at all industrial water pollution outfalls meaningfully reduced discharges and violations. A natural experiment reveals that treated facility violations fell about one-third and overall pollution discharges fell about eight percent relative to a counterfactual in response to the program. Results appear to be largely driven by municipal wastewater treatment facilities in high education areas.