Speaker: Andrew Foster, Brown University,USA
Title: 'Direct and Indirect Effects of Voluntary Certification: Evidence from the Mexican Clean Industry Program'
Abstract: We develop and test a model of environmental regulation that integrates firm and regulator behavior to evaluate a voluntary certification program: the Mexican Clean Industry Program. Imposing structure on the costs of participation and compliance we first establish that plants with lower compliance costs are more likely to certify. Then, we show that because authorities seem to use certification as a screening device, the program leads to higher levels and more efficient targeting of inspections. Using remotely sensed estimates of local air quality we find evidence that is consistent with the model and suggests that the Clean Industry Program had little impact on emissions of firms that certified but reduced emissions overall as a result of the regulatory response that certification made possible.
About the speaker: Andrew Foster, Professor of Economics, Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice, and Director of the Population Studies and Training Center received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988. He is an empirical microeconomist with interests in the areas of population, environment, development, and health. Recent work has examined economic growth in rural India, exploring such issues as growth in the non-farm economy, the effects of local democratization, groundwater usage, forest cover, household structure, inequality, and schooling. He also is exploring the effects of recent changes in air quality in Delhi.
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