The Silver Lining of Industrial Decline: Rust Belt Manufacturing's Impact on Particulates
Reduced industrial activity leads to improved local air quality. Using plant level micro data from the Census of Manufacturers, I explore how county particulate levels vary for counties that feature different manufacturing activity levels and that differ with respect to manufacturing's capital vintage, plant size and SIC industry classification. These estimates are used to simulate the benefits of reduced manufacturing activity. The magnitude of the social benefits of increased local public goods is compared to the aggregate private costs suffered by workers displaced to the low wage service sector.
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