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Productivity and environmental regulations - A long run analysis of the Swedish industry

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  • Brännlund, Runar

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    (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

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    Abstract

    The aim with this study is to evaluate the potential effects on productivity development in the Swedish manufacturing industry due to changes in environmental regulations over a long time period. The issue is closely related to the so called Porter hypothesis, i.e. whether environmental regulations (the right kind) that usually is associated with costs triggers mechanisms that enhances efficiency and productivity that finally outweighs the initial cost increase. To test our hypothesis we use historical data spanning over the period 1913-1999 for the Swedish manufacturing sector. The model used is a two stage model were the total factor productivity is calculated in the first stage, and is then used in a second stage as the dependent variable in a regression analysis where one of the independent variables is a measure of regulatory intensity. The results show that the productivity growth has varied considerably over time. The least productive period was the second world war period, whereas the period with the highest productivity growth was the period after the second world war until 1970. Development of emissions follows essentially the same path as productivity growth until 1970. After 1970, however, there is a decoupling in the sense that emissions are decreasing, both in absolute level and as emissions per unit of value added. A rather robust conclusion is that there is no evident relationship between environmental regulations and productivity growth. One explanation is that regulations and productivity actually is unrelated. Another potential explanation is that the regulatory measure used does not capture perceived regulations in a correct way.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Umeå University, Department of Economics in its series Umeå Economic Studies with number 728.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Feb 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0728

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
    Phone: 090 - 786 61 42
    Fax: 090 - 77 23 02
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    Web page: http://www.econ.umu.se/
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    Keywords: Environmental regulations; productivity; Porter hypothesis;

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    1. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Feichtinger, Gustav & Hartl, Richard F. & Kort, Peter M. & Veliov, Vladimir M., 2005. "Environmental policy, the porter hypothesis and the composition of capital: Effects of learning and technological progress," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 434-446, September.
    3. van der Vlist, Arno J. & Withagen, Cees & Folmer, Henk, 2007. "Technical efficiency under alternative environmental regulatory regimes: The case of Dutch horticulture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 165-173, June.
    4. Xepapadeas, Anastasios & de Zeeuw, Aart, 1999. "Environmental Policy and Competitiveness: The Porter Hypothesis and the Composition of Capital," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 165-182, March.
    5. Eli Berman & Linda T. M. Bui, 2001. "Environmental Regulation And Productivity: Evidence From Oil Refineries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 498-510, August.
    6. J.B. Smith & W A. Sims, 1985. "The Impact of Pollution Charges on Productivity Growth in Canadian Brewing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 410-423, Autumn.
    7. David Popp, 2004. "International Innovation and Diffusion of Air Pollution Control Technologies: The Effects of NOX and SO2 Regulation in the US, Japan, and Germany," NBER Working Papers 10643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Simpson, R. David & Bradford, Robert III, 1996. "Taxing Variable Cost: Environmental Regulation as Industrial Policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 282-300, May.
    9. Adam B. Jaffe & Karen Palmer, 1997. "Environmental Regulation And Innovation: A Panel Data Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 610-619, November.
    10. Mohr, Robert D., 2002. "Technical Change, External Economies, and the Porter Hypothesis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 158-168, January.
    11. Greaker, Mads, 2006. "Spillovers in the development of new pollution abatement technology: A new look at the Porter-hypothesis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 411-420, July.
    12. Brunnermeier, Smita B. & Cohen, Mark A., 2003. "Determinants of environmental innovation in US manufacturing industries," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 278-293, March.
    13. Barbera, Anthony J. & McConnell, Virginia D., 1990. "The impact of environmental regulations on industry productivity: Direct and indirect effects," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 50-65, January.
    14. Hamamoto, Mitsutsugu, 2006. "Environmental regulation and the productivity of Japanese manufacturing industries," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 299-312, November.
    15. Boyd, Gale A. & McClelland, John D., 1999. "The Impact of Environmental Constraints on Productivity Improvement in Integrated Paper Plants," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 121-142, September.
    16. Ebru Alpay & Joe Kerkvliet & Steven Buccola, 2002. "Productivity Growth and Environmental Regulation in Mexican and U.S. Food Manufacturing," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(4), pages 887-901.
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