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Trade, Technique and Composition Effects: What is Behind the Fall in World-Wide SO2 Emissions 1990-2000?

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Author Info

  • Jean-Marie Grether

    (University of Neuchâtel)

  • Nicole A. Mathys

    (University of Lausanne and EPFL)

  • Jaime de Melo

    (University of Geneva and CEPR)

Abstract

Combining unique data bases on emissions with sectoral output and employment data, we study the sources of the fall in world-wide SO2 emissions and estimate the impact of trade on emissions. Contrarily to concerns raised by environmentalists, an emission-decomposition exercise shows that scale effects are dominated by technique effects working towards a reduction in emissions. A second exercise comparing the actual trade situation with an autarky benchmark estimates that trade, by allowing clean countries to become net importers of emissions, leads to a 10% increase in world emissions with respect to autarky in 1990, a figure that shrinks to 3.5% in 2000. Additionally, back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that emissions related to transport are of the same magnitude. In a third exercise, we use linear programming to simulate extreme situations where world emissions are either maximal or minimal. It turns out that effective emissions correspond to a 90% reduction with respect to the worst case, but that another 80% reduction could be reached if emissions were minimal.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2007.93.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2007.93

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Keywords: Trade; Growth; Environment; Decomposition; Embodied Emissions in Trade; Transport;

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  1. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2003. "Trade, Growth and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 9823, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. de Melo, Jaime & Grether, Jean-Marie, 2003. "Globalization and Dirty Industries: Do Pollution Havens Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3932, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jean-Marie GRETHER & Nicole A. MATHYS & Jaime de MELO, 2012. "Unravelling the Worldwide Pollution Haven Effect," Working Papers P40, FERDI.
  4. Arik Levinson, 2009. "Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from US Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2177-92, December.
  5. Céline Carrère & Maurice Schiff, 2005. "On the Geography of Trade. Distance is Alive and Well," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 56(6), pages 1249-1274.
  6. Miketa, Asami & Mulder, Peter, 2005. "Energy productivity across developed and developing countries in 10 manufacturing sectors: Patterns of growth and convergence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 429-453, May.
  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Is Trade Good or Bad for the Environment? Sorting Out the Causality," NBER Working Papers 9201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hettige, Hemamala & Martin, Paul & Singh, Manjula & Wheeler,David R., 1995. "The industrial pollution projection system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1431, The World Bank.
  9. Stern, David I., 2002. "Explaining changes in global sulfur emissions: an econometric decomposition approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 201-220, August.
  10. David I. Stern, 2005. "Reversal in the Trend of Global Anthropogenic Sulfur Emissions," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0504, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  11. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2001. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 877-908, September.
  12. Grossman, G.M & Krueger, A.B., 1991. "Environmental Impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement," Papers 158, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  13. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J. R., 2003. "Determining the trade-environment composition effect: the role of capital, labor and environmental regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 363-383, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Cunha, Barbara & Mani, Muthukumara, 2011. "DR-CAFTA and the environment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5826, The World Bank.

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