NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Letting States do the Dirty Work: State Responsibility for Federal Environmental Regulation

Hilary Sigman

NBER Working Paper No. 9451
Issued in January 2003
NBER Program(s):   PE

Under most U.S. environmental regulations, the federal government shares responsibility with the states by authorizing them to implement and enforce federal policies. Authorization provides states with considerable discretion over the effects of regulation and is perhaps the most significant decentralization in U.S. environmental policy. However, few studies address its role. To fill this gap, this paper explores the empirical determinants of authorization for water pollution and hazardous waste regulation. Although no single hypothesis strongly explains authorization, I find some evidence that states authorize to increase the stringency of regulation, which suggests that environmental decentralization would be beneficial.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9451

Published: Sigman, Hilary. "Letting States Do The Dirty Work: State Responsibility For Federal Environmental Regulation," National Tax Journal, 2003, v56(1,Mar), 107-122. citation courtesy of

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