The political economy of state-level adoption of natural resource damage programs

Amy W. Ando, Wallapak Polasub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


U.S. states can implement programs to pursue damage recovery when firms cause natural resource damages (NRDs). We present new empirical evidence that such programs have effectively reduced oil spills in states that adopt them. However, only 34 states had implemented such programs by 2003. We analyze data on 50 states and the District of Columbia from 1980 to 2003 to ascertain the likely determinants of NRD program adoption. We find that states with many environmental accidents adopt programs more rapidly, while income and interest-group pressure have no significant impact on the process. While non-adopting states might benefit from such programs, at least NRD programs are being adopted most rapidly where they can do the most good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-330
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Regulatory Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009


  • Natural resource damage
  • Political economy
  • State policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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