Events & Media — David Konisky

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



David M. Konisky
Assistant Professor
Georgetown Public Policy Institute
Georgetown University

Monday, May 16, 2011
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Environmental (In)Justice and Regulatory Compliance Bias"

Hosted by Sarah Anderson


Recent research finding race- and class-based disparities in government enforcement of environmental laws has failed to provide a theoretically-grounded account of this bias‟ origin. We address this shortcoming by providing a micro-level explanation of how demographic characteristics influence the dual-agent – firm and regulatory officer – production function of regulatory compliance. Central to our argument is that compliance bias derives, at least in part, from regulatory officers‟ professional incentive structures. To empirically test our argument, we use an original dataset that carefully delineates the local decision-making contexts of regulatory officers implementing the U.S. Clean Air Act and a new detection controlled estimator that enables us to correct for and model compliance bias. We find that both firm compliance and regulatory officers‟ compliance determinations are a function of community demographics, and that Hispanic communities in particular are adversely affected

David Konisky is assistant professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. His research focuses on American politics and public policy, with particular emphasis on regulation, environmental politics and policy, state politics, and public opinion. Dr. Konisky obtained his PhD in political science from MIT, and holds master's degrees in environmental management and international relations from Yale University, and a bachelors degree in history and environmental studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to Georgetown, Dr. Konisky served on the faculty at the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri, and as a research associate at Resources for the Future. His ’s current research examines the implementation of federal pollution control laws, environmental justice in government regulatory enforcement, and public attitudes toward energy, climate change, and the environment.

NOTE: Research colloquia are hosted by Bren faculty members and are generally high-level talks about research in a particular area of environmental science and management.


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