Arizona State University
P.O. Box 873902
Tempe, AZ 85287-3902
Institutional Affiliation: Arizona State University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2019||Do Pollution Markets Harm Low Income and Minority Communities? Ranking Emissions Distributions Generated by California's RECLAIM Program|
with Erin T. Mansur: w25666
We compare the spatial distribution of emissions from Southern California’s pollution-trading program with that of a counterfactual command-and-control policy. We develop a normatively significant metric with which to rank the various distributions in a manner consistent with an explicit well-behaved preference structure. Results suggest trading benefited all demographic groups and generated a more equitable overall distribution of emissions even after controlling for its lower aggregate emissions. Upper-income and white demographics had more desirable distributions relative to low-income and some minority groups under the RECLAIM trading program, however, and population shifts over time may have undermined anticipated gains for African Americans.