Using the Toxic Release Inventory as an Environmental Performance Indicator: A Shift-Share Interpretation

Williams O. Olatubi and Margaret Reams

DOI: 10.2190/FFWF-5365-M7DT-XRMQ


This study addresses an important issue in environmental management: the issue of evaluation of environmental programs through environmental indicators such as the U.S. Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The goal of this study is to use shift-share as an alternative analytical technique to measure environmental performance making use of the TRI program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The expected growth in TRI for the states from 1991 to 1994 using a shift-share model was compared to the actual TRI releases in 1994. On the basis of growth scenarios from 1988 to 1994, it is demonstrated that the relative environmental performance of states having comparatively large manufacturing bases was not necessarily worse than that of those states with comparatively small manufacturing bases, in contrast to the impression often conveyed when absolute performance indicator measures are used.

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