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Pollution abatement and productivity performance of regional Canadian pulp and paper industries

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The performance of pulp and paper industries in four Canadian regions is compared based on the estimation of an input distance function, with and without pollutant outputs. Distance functions are techniques for the representation and estimation of multiple‐output and multiple‐input production technologies. They are quantity‐based techniques. Non‐marketed outputs such as pollutants can be easily incorporated into productivity analysis with the help of distance functions. This environmentally sensitive approach provides higher productivity growth estimates for all regions, indicating the need for adjusting conventional measures that ignore the non‐marketed benefits of pollution abatement activities. The results also consistently indicate the presence of substantial differences in the regional levels of technical efficiency. Regional industries have not enjoyed similar rates of technological progress due to differences in their underlying structures. Productivity growth estimates for most regional industries remain weak or negative even after the recognition of pollution abatement efforts. Estimates of regional level costs of abatement for biological oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solids (TSS) are provided.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, The University of Western Australia, Crawley (Perth), WA 6009 Australia

Publication date: 01 May 2003

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