Unwatched Pollution: The Effect of Intermittent Monitoring on Air Quality
AbstractIntermittent monitoring of environmental standards may induce strategic changes in polluting activities. This paper documents local strategic responses to a cyclical, once-every-six-day air quality monitoring schedule under the federal Clean Air Act. Using satellite data of monitored areas, I show that air quality is significantly worse on unmonitored days. This effect is explained by short-term suppression of pollution on monitored days, especially during high-pollution periods when the city's noncompliance risk is high. Cities' use of air quality warnings increases on monitored days, which suggests local governments' role in coordinating emission reductions.
CitationZou, Eric Yongchen. 2021. "Unwatched Pollution: The Effect of Intermittent Monitoring on Air Quality." American Economic Review, 111 (7): 2101-26. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20181346
- K32 Environmental, Energy, Health, and Safety Law
- Q53 Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
- Q58 Environmental Economics: Government Policy
- R11 Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes