Discussion Paper

Strategic Release of News at the EPA

Oct 26, 2011 | Lucija Anna Muehlenbachs, Elisabeth Newcomb Sinha, Nitish Ranjan Sinha


Using advances in text analysis, we examine the content and timing of21,493 press releases issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) between 1994 and 2009. Press releases announcing enforcement actions or regulatory changes were issued more often on Fridays and before holidays, a time when news has the least impact on media coverage and financial markets. Changing the timing of press releases may increase deterrence through awareness of regulation and market reaction to environmental news. We find no evidence of regulatory capture. We compare text analysis techniques that allow data collection from sources previously too expensive to access.