Environmental Injustice in the United States: Myths and Realities

By James P. Lester; David W. Allen et al. | Go to book overview

view existing policies in this area at the national and subnational levels. Chapter 10 will then offer several alternative policy designs for dealing with environmental injustice in the future.


Note
1.
As noted in Chapter 4, we are not entirely satisfied with our city-level measure of political mobilization, i.e., median value of owner-occupied housing. However, no other measure was readily available, and we did not want to run the risk of misspecifying the model. As a consequence, we were left with an indirect surrogate of the political-mobilization concept at the city level. The measure used is an indirect surrogate of the concept because the measure implies that the higher the value of owner-occupied housing, the greater the stake in the community and, therefore, the more likely a high level of political mobilization will eventuate. We justified the use of this measure on several grounds. First, median value of owner-occupied housing has been used to represent political mobilization in previous environmental injustice literature ( Hird, 1993, 1994; Hird and Reese, 1998; Lester and Allen, 1996). Second, a more direct measure of mobilization, i.e., local elections, was inadequate in that there is no agency that systematically collects local election results and, further, local elections are held at different times. Third, some city-level presidential election results are reported for different geographic entities, making comparable measures difficult. We would be troubled by the city-level political-mobilization results were it not for two points. First, the city-level results track nicely with the remaining findings about this concept for our other levels of analysis--levels at which the concept was more directly measured. Second, work by Hird ( 1993, 1994) and Hird and Reese ( 1998)-- which used the same measure for county-level environmental injustice analysis-- also reports no relationship between mobilization and environmental harms.

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