Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Economics
The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate how the interaction among economic activities and water-effluent loadings may be quantified for the area surrounding Narragansett Bay. A second objective is to demonstrate how the resulting economic-waste generation model may be used as a tool for public decision-making.
The study concerns itself with economic activity whose water-borne residuals are generated in the Narragansett Bay area and consequently, the study area closely approximates the Narragansett Bay Drainage Basin. This region accounts for over 90 percent and slightly less than 10 percent of Rhode Island's and Massachusetts economic activity respectively.
The model consists of an input-output analysis for an economy disaggregated into fifty-nine endogenous sectors and four exogenous final demand sectors. In addition, a matrix consisting of thirty-five effluent coefficients and two water usage coefficients was developed. The data which led to the development of these coefficients, was primarily obtained from permit applications submitted by Rhode Island firms to the Corps of Engineers.
A completed matrix of effluent coefficients constitutes a good first approximation of responsibility for industrial residues. However, underlying the direct causation are economic forces which stimulate the outflow. Recognizing that the interactions among economic sectors is responsible for much output produced, indirect wastes resulting from economic interdependencies can be assigned as well. This is accomplished within the general model, once the economic data are linked to the effluent coefficients. The linkage operation ls performed by post-multiplying the effluent matrix by the matrix of interdependency coefficients. The product of these matrices depicts all water-borne industrial wastes generated in the Narragansett Bay region with both direct and indirect impacts of each economic sector illustrated. In addition, local income multipliers are applied and a new matrix ls developed which depicts the trade-offs existing between local income and effluent levels ln the bay. This matrix provides the region with some pecuniary cost estimates of a cleaner environment.
Thus, the model, in its entirety, develops many levels of information useful to government officials charged with making decisions regarding the generation of water-borne wastes into the Narragansett Bay region. Direct effluent coefficients by economic activity have, to a large extent, been developed which are representative of direct loadings generated by economic activities within the region. Indirect effluent loadings have also been calculated and have been found to be the major force precipitating much of the wastes produced. These results permit identification of those sectors chiefly responsible for direct emissions and those sectors which serve as major catalysts in the generation-of water-borne wastes. In addition, cost estimates in terms of economic output and local income foregone have been calculated. Finally, the results suggest that changes be made in present governmental policies overseeing the control of water-borne waste generation. For example, the abandonment of grandfather clauses and the utilization of select controls should be encouraged.
Feld, Sidney E., "An Economic-Waste Generation Linkage Model for Narragansett Bay" (1973). Open Access Dissertations. Paper 1307.