NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Has Surface Water Quality Improved Since the Clean Water Act?

V. Kerry Smith, Carlos Valcarcel Wolloh

NBER Working Paper No. 18192
Issued in June 2012
NBER Program(s):   EEE

On the fortieth anniversary of the Clean Water Act this paper reports the first quantitative assessment of the aggregate trends in water quality in the U.S. using a single standard over the years 1975 to 2011. The analysis suggests that fresh water lakes for the nation as a whole are about at the same quality levels as they were in 1975. In short, viewed in the aggregate, nothing has changed. An assessment of the factors influencing the aggregates also suggests that water quality appears to be affected by the business cycle. This result calls into question the simple descriptions of the change in environmental quality with economic growth that are associated with the Environmental Kuznets Curve.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18192

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Bordo and Haubrich w18194 Deep Recessions, Fast Recoveries, and Financial Crises: Evidence from the American Record
Fang, Eggleston, Rizzo, Rozelle, and Zeckhauser w18189 The Returns to Education in China: Evidence from the 1986 Compulsory Education Law
Pindyck w18205 The Climate Policy Dilemma
Klaiber, Smith, Kaminsky, and Strong w18293 Measuring Price Elasticities for Residential Water Demand with Limited Information
Sigman w13098 Decentralization and Environmental Quality: An International Analysis of Water Pollution
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us