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Race, Waste and Long-Run Outcomes

Andrew B. Bernard

September 1996

Andrew B. Bernard, September 1996

We examine the hypothesis that hazardous waste facilities are disproportionately located in minority neighborhoods. We also ask whether such facilities provide observable economic benefits to the surrounding community. the results are disturbing. as found by other researchers, neighborhoods with large minority populations are more likely to have one or more hazardous waste facilities. we find some evidence that, even controlling for economic and political factors, race still remains associated with site location. Economic outcomes over long horizons are worse for locations that start with a hazardous waste site and for those that acquire one. Areas with sites have lowr income growth, increases rather than drops in poverty rates, and sharper increases in unemployment. In addition, the minority share of the population in such areas rises increasing the exposure.

 

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