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The Impact of Environmental Policy on Foreign Trade: Tobey revisited with a Bilateral Flow Model

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Author Info

  • Cees van Beers

    (Delft University of Technology)

  • Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

    ()
    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Abstract

We consider the microfoundations controversy from the perspective of economic evolution. Although the analogy between biology and economics has been noted before, it has rarely focused on clarifying the micro–macro distinction in economic theory and modelling. The micro–macro debate is more developed in biology than in economics owing to a greater degree of specialisation and a greater degree of interaction between various sub-disciplines. The task for economists is to distinguish between insights directly relevant for economic theory and ones that hinge on unique features of biological systems. We argue that both micro and macro processes drive economic change and that macroeconomic change cannot be explained by microlevel optimising alone. We show that debates in biology about group selection and punctuated equilibria are relevant to understanding economic evolution. The opposition of reductionism and holism is of little use and, in its place, a hierarchical approach is proposed. This allows for both upward and downward causation and interaction between levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 00-069/3.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20000069

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: Evolutionary biology; Group selection; Hierarchical causation; Punctuated equilibrium • Sorting;

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References

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  1. van Beers, Cees & van den Bergh, Jeroen C J M, 1997. "An Empirical Multi-country Analysis of the Impact of Environmental Regulations on Foreign Trade Flows," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 29-46.
  2. Erik Biørn & Rolf Golombek* & Arvid Raknerud, 1998. "Environmental Regulations and Plant Exit," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(1), pages 35-59, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Qureshi, M.S., 2006. "Trade Liberalization, Environment and Poverty: A Developing Country Perspective," Working Paper Series RP2006/45, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Rault, Christophe & Sova, Robert & Sova, Anamaria, 2010. "Environmental Regulation and Competitiveness: Evidence from Romania," IZA Discussion Papers 5029, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Peter Egger & Christoph Jeßberger & Mario Larch, 2011. "Trade and investment liberalization as determinants of multilateral environmental agreement membership," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(6), pages 605-633, December.

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