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Do State Enironmental Protection Programs Constrain State Economic Growth?

IJED, Vol. 4 No. 3, (2002)

The purpose of paper is to examine whether state environmental programs impede economic development. Previous studies in this area omit critical political variables such as the environmental ideology of a state and employ inappropriate measures of state environmental regulation. To deal with these problems, I not only examine the impact of parties, interest groups, and administrative structures on state economy but also investigate the impact of the environmental ideology
of state Representatives on economic development. The model is tested by pooled time series and the Levinson’s index, which measures the stringency of state environmental regulation after controlling for the industry composition of state, is employed. The results of analysis show
that stringent state environmental regulation and state expenditures for total pollution control do not substantively curb its economic growth. The results also confirm that the administrative structures of state environmental programs as well as the environmental ideology of state Representatives significantly influence state economic development.

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