AdvisorInnes, Robert D.
Fishback, Price V.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoEmbargo: Release after 5/14/2012
AbstractThe first essay of this dissertation explores the role of congressional politics in environmental law enforcements in the United States. It examines if and to what extent the political affiliation of a representative politician matters for the enforcement of the Clean Air Act (CAA); in particular whether the affiliation of a representative politician to a particular party results in a higher/lower level of enforcement in his/her constituency. The period of 1989 to 2005 is considered. The analysis shows that political processes at the local, state and federal level did matter for facility level enforcements. By and large, the Republican politicians tended to reduce facility level inspections compared to their Democrat counterparts and the magnitude of such reduction marginally increased with the seniority of the Republican politicians----a finding that has important policy implications. As a result the political affiliation of a politician emerges as a key instrument for environmental enforcement in the emissions equation.The second essay studies the potential issue of contagion in individual honesty (or, dishonesty). When an individual believes that peers are predominantly untruthful (or, truthful) in a given situation, is he/she more likely to be untruthful (or, truthful) in that situation in absence of monitoring, social sanction and reputation formation? The analysis employs an asymmetric information deception game patterned after Gneezy (2005) and reaches at the conclusion that individuals are heavily (partly) contagious when they believe that peers are predominantly dishonest (honest). The conclusion sheds some light on one of the many individual level root causes as to why the world is bipolar in the distribution of corruption (with most countries are either highly corrupt or highly honest).The third essay discusses the complementarity that existed between the diffusion of motor vehicles usage and the construction of the network of roads in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. With the expansion of roads, communication between two destinations became smoother, faster and more convenient and in turn attracted more and more people to use motor vehicles as a medium of communication. We empirically investigate how the expansion of the network of roads resulted in the diffusion of motor vehicles. We plan to empirically explore the impact of the diffusion of motor vehicles usage on the expansion of the road network in our future work. The complementarity that existed between the diffusion of motor vehicles and the expansion of roads in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century has important policy implications for today's developing countries that do not have a well constructed network of roads.
Degree ProgramGraduate College