Reducing Industrial Accidents, Worker Chemical Exposure and Pollution in the Chemical Industry
PI Shanti Gamper-Rabindran and Stephen Finger
Industry self-regulation, voluntary programs and information disclosure programs have become exceedingly important in risky industries, with the decline in regulatory budgets and the increasing costs of traditional regulations. We construct a detailed database of about 3,000 chemical plants in the US over a decade, with economic, environmental and regulatory information. We find that industry self-regulation and voluntary standards, in the presence of effective liability laws, can effectively reduce industrial accidents and worker exposure to toxic chemicals, respectively.[1,2] However, when complementary liability laws are absent, self-regulation programs are not likely to reduce pollution. [3, 4] Our research also finds that mandatory pollution disclosure programs, aimed at reducing chemical factories' pollution releases into the environment, is associated with a decline in workers' exposure to chemicals inside these factories. 
Acknowledgement: National Science Foundation SES 1127223 and BCS 0351058, Central Research Development Fund, European Union Center for Excellence, University Center for International Studies, Center for Industry Studies.
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