Events Calendar

Social Capital, Collective Bargaining & Carcinogenic Release

Friday, November 26, 2021
10:00 am
Online via Zoom
Hang Le - November 26

Social Capital, Collective Bargaining and Regional Carcinogenic Releases 

Dr. Hang Le,
University of Nottingham
10 AM (Eastern Time)
November 26th

Delivered on Zoom
Zoom Registration:
The evidence on environmental injustice and its disproportionate adverse impacts is growing. An important step in alleviating this injustice is the public disclosure of information about toxic releases by firms due to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). We develop a model which shows a process in which firms decide how much toxic materials to release, while households in corresponding areas care about both the adverse impact of toxic materials and the employment opportunities created by polluting firms. Within this framework, our model predicts that i) the amount of toxic wastes that firms release in a particular region is determined through bargaining between polluting firms and the members of communities affected by the releases and ii) communities with high social capital are better able than those with low social capital in sharing information and coordinating their actions to effectively participate in the bargaining process that determines toxic releases in their neighborhoods. We test the hypotheses using the Toxic Release Inventory data of around 2 million carcinogenic chemical reports of facilities in the US during 1998-2019 and county-level social capital index. Results from quantile estimator, panel data fixed-effects regressions, and hurdle models show that an increase of one standard deviation in social capital reduces carcinogenic releases by approximately 30% and high social capital also reduces the number of toxic releasing facilities. Yet the impact of social capital is moderated by the number of jobs created and wages paid by polluting firms. An important implication of our study is that the effectiveness of the policy requiring public disclosure of chemical releases in reducing environmental injustice is likely to depend on the social capital of local communities. 

DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies
DAN Department of Management & Organizational Studies
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