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Abstract

This study investigates the probabilities of vessel safety and pollution inspections by type of vessel by the U.S. Coast Guard based upon individual vessel inspections for the years 1992-2001. Probit estimates of vessel safety (versus pollution) inspection equations suggest that fishing, passenger, recreation and tug boats are less (more) likely to be inspected for safety (pollution), whereas tank barges and U.S. flag vessels are more (less) likely to be inspected for safety (pollution). Also, vessel safety and pollution inspection probabilities by vessel type vary by Coast Guard district and time. The probability of a U.S. flag vessel being inspected for safety has increased over the time period of the study. The results bring into question the effectiveness of the Coast Guard in reducing the oil-spill pollution of tank barges and improving the safety of fishing boats.

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