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Do national borders matter? Intranational trade, international trade, and the environment

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  • McAusland, Carol
  • Millimet, Daniel L.

Abstract

We develop a theoretical model identifying channels through which trade impacts the environment. First, trade decouples some of regulation's costs from its benefits, prompting demand for stringent environmental regulations. Second, trade provides consumers with access to new varieties of goods; the associated income (substitution) effect raises (lowers) demand for strict regulation. The model predicts (1) international trade to be more environmentally beneficial than intranational trade due to a stronger decoupling effect, and (2) both intra and international trade to be pro-environment unless substitution effects are sufficiently strong. Using data on intra and international trade for the US and Canada, along with several environmental outcomes, we find robust evidence that international trade has a statistically and economically beneficial causal effect on environmental quality, while intranational trade has a harmful impact. This pattern is consistent with a moderate-sized substitution effect along with a stronger decoupling effect of international trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 65 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 411-437

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:65:y:2013:i:3:p:411-437

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

Related research

Keywords: Bilateral trade; Pollution;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Per G. Fredriksson & Xenia Matschke, 2014. "Trade Liberalization and Environmental Taxation in Federal Systems," CESifo Working Paper Series, CESifo Group Munich 4717, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Michele Battisti & Michael S. Delgado & Christopher F. Parmeter, 2013. "Evolution of the Global Distribution of Carbon Dioxide: A Finite Mixture Analysis," Working Papers, University of Miami, Department of Economics 2013-10, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  3. Millimet, Daniel L., 2013. "Environmental Federalism: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Cui, Jingbo & Qian, Hang, 2013. "The Effects of Exports on Facility Environmental Performance: Evidence from a Matching Approach," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C., Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 149550, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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