The Impact of Inspections on Plant-Level Air Emissions

Hanna, Rema; Oliva, Paulina (2010)


Hanna, Rema, and Paulina Oliva. 2010. “The Impact Of Inspections On Plant-Level Air Emissions”. The B.e. Journal Of Economic Analysis & Policy 10 (1): 1-33.
Each year, the United States conducts approximately 20,000 inspections of manufacturing plants under the Clean Air Act. This paper compiles a panel dataset on plant-level inspections, fines, and emissions to understand whether these inspections actually reduce air emissions. We find plants reduce air emissions by fifteen percent, on average, following an inspection under the Clean Air Act. Plants that belong to industries that typically have low abatement costs respond more strongly to an inspection than those who belong to industries with high abatement costs.