Environmental Protection Agency Enforcement Patterns: A Case of Political Pork Barrel?

  • Jim F. Couch
  • Robert J. Williams
  • William H. Wells
Part of the European Heritage in Economics and the Social Sciences book series (EHES, volume 5)


This study examined the possible link between congressional membership on one of two powerful committees with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversight power and the incidence of EPA citations being levied against those firms headquartered within the committee members’ home districts. Using a sample of 109 Fortune 500 firms for the 1992–1993 time period, the results suggest a significant and negative link between committee membership on either the House Appropriations Committee or the House Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Committee, and the number of EPA citations levied against firms headquartered in the districts of the congresspersons serving on these committees. The results suggest that politicians may exercise power in order to protect their constituents, rather than to protect the national interest.


Environment Environmental Protection Agency public choiceeconomics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim F. Couch
    • 1
  • Robert J. Williams
    • 2
  • William H. Wells
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics and FinanceUniversity of North AlabamaFlorence
  2. 2.Department of ManagementValdosta State UniversityValdosta

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