Economic impact of an environmental accident: A time-series analysis of the exxon valdez oil spill in southcentral alaska

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Abstract

Tharae prevailing model of individual and collective responses to environmental accidents emphasizes the interactive relationships between the impacted social organization and the aversive agent. The focus of this model is on the social and psychological dimensions of these events. Lacking is a recognition that environmental accidents are also powerful economic perturbations with the potential to effect profound adjustments within impacted communities. A stochastic time-series model is utilized to illustrate the magnitude of the economic impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on the communities of southcentral Alaska. This environmental accident induced a regional economic boom of substantial proportions for the small, natural resource dependent communities located in the impacted region. Although the benefits of this increase in economic activity were not distributed evenly across southcentral Alaska, the analysis concludes that the environmental accident was economically beneficial and compensated for a sharp reduction in the profitability of commercial fishing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-63
Number of pages29
JournalSociological Spectrum
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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