Organizational Structures, Citizen Participation, and Corporate Environmental PerformanceEPA Grant Number: R828826
Title: Organizational Structures, Citizen Participation, and Corporate Environmental Performance
Investigators: Grant, Don
Institution: University of Arizona
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: June 1, 2001 through May 31, 2002
Project Amount: $35,123
RFA: Corporate Environmental Performance and the Effectiveness of Government Interventions (2000) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Economics and Decision Sciences
Description:This proposed study will address two questions: 1) how does the ownership status of a regulated facility affect its environmental performance?, and 2) what are the implications of this for the effectiveness of community-based forms of regulation? Sociologists have long speculated that absentee-owned plants are more prone to pollute because they are typically managed by outsiders who do not identify with a local community and its natural environment. More recently, they have suggested that subsidiaries may also pose a special threat, since under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, parent companies can create a "liability firewall" between themselves and their most hazardous branches by reclassifying the latter as subsidiaries. Sociologists speculate further that unless the ownership status and other organizational characteristics of regulated facilities are taken into account, community-based forms of regulation, like states' right-to-know programs (mandated under SARA Title III), will have limited effects.
This study hypothesizes that: a) absentee-owned plants and subsidiaries (established after 1986) have higher levels and rates of emission than other facilities; b) the positive effects of facility size and age on emissions (found in other NSF-funded research by the author) are compounded when plants are absentee-owned or subsidiaries; and 3) larger, older, absentee-owned plants and subsidiaries are less likely to reduce their emissions in response to states' right-to-know programs.