NBER Working Papers by Nathaniel Keohane

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Working Papers

October 2007Averting Regulatory Enforcement: Evidence from New Source Review
with Erin T. Mansur, Andrey Voynov: w13512
This paper explores firms' response to regulatory enforcement. New Source Review, a provision of the Clean Air Act, imposes stringent emissions limitations on significantly modified older power plants. In 1999, the EPA sued owners of 46 plants for NSR violations. We study how electricity companies respond to both the perceived threat of future action, and the action itself. A discrete choice model estimates plants likelihood of being named in lawsuits increases with large historic emissions and investments. On the eve of the lawsuits, emissions at plants with a one standard deviation greater probability of being sued fell approximately ten percent.

Published: Nathaniel O. Keohane & Erin T. Mansur & Andrey Voynov, 2009. "Averting Regulatory Enforcement: Evidence from New Source Review," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(1), pages 75-104, 03. citation courtesy of

March 2006Migration and Hedonic Valuation: The Case of Air Quality
with Patrick Bayer, Christopher Timmins: w12106
Conventional hedonic techniques for estimating the value of local amenities rely on the assumption that households move freely among locations. We show that when moving is costly, the variation in housing prices and wages across locations may no longer reflect the value of differences in local amenities. We develop an alternative discrete-choice approach that models the household location decision directly, and we apply it to the case of air quality in U.S. metro areas in 1990 and 2000. Because air pollution is likely to be correlated with unobservable local characteristics such as economic activity, we instrument for air quality using the contribution of distant sources to local pollution %u2013 excluding emissions from local sources, which are most likely to be correlated with local cond...

Published: Bayer, Patrick & Keohane, Nathaniel & Timmins, Christopher, 2009. "Migration and hedonic valuation: The case of air quality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-14, July. citation courtesy of

June 2000Controlling Stocks and Flows to Promote Quality: The Environment, With Applications to Physical and Human Capital
with Benjamin Van Roy, Richard J. Zeckhauser: w7727
Our analysis melds two traditional approaches to promoting quality. The first is restoring the stock of quality. The second is curbing its flow of deterioration. Although both approaches are widely used in real world settings, analytic models have tended to focus on one strategy or the other. We consider a class of problems, which we call SFQ' problems, in which both stocks and flows can be controlled to promote quality. We develop our results in the context of environmental quality, drawing on real-world examples from atomic wastes to zebra mussels. But the lessons are general, and we show how they apply to promoting the quality of both physical and human capital. We first study optimal policies in the limiting cases when only abatement or restoration is possible. We then focus on ...

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