International Trade in Used Durable Goods: The Environmental Consequences of NAFTA
AbstractPrevious studies of trade and the environment overwhelmingly focus on how trade affects where goods are produced. However, trade also affects where goods are consumed. In this paper we describe a model of trade with durable goods and non-homothetic preferences. In autarky, low-quality (used) goods are relatively inexpensive in high-income countries and free trade causes these goods to be exported to low-income countries. We then evaluate the environmental consequences of this pattern of trade using evidence from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Since trade restrictions were eliminated for used cars in 2005, over 2.5 million used cars have been exported from the United States to Mexico. Using a unique, vehicle-level dataset, we find that traded vehicles are dirtier than the stock of vehicles in the United States and cleaner than the stock in Mexico, so trade leads average vehicle emissions to decrease in both countries. Total greenhouse gas emissions increase, primarily because trade gives new life to vehicles that otherwise would have been scrapped.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14565.
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2010, 2(4), 58-82.
Note: EEE IO ITI
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-12-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2008-12-14 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-INT-2008-12-14 (International Trade)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Susanna Esteban & Matthew Shum, 2007. "Durable-goods oligopoly with secondary markets: the case of automobiles," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(2), pages 332-354, 06.
- Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003.
"The Impact Of Air Pollution On Infant Mortality: Evidence From Geographic Variation In Pollution Shocks Induced By A Recession,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167, August.
- Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1999. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," NBER Working Papers 7442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew, 2004.
"Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn From California's Recent Experience?,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2005. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn from California's Recent Experience?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1003-1030, August.
- Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2004. "Air Pollution and Infant Health: What Can We Learn From California's Recent Experience," NBER Working Papers 10251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arik Levinson & M. Scott Taylor, 2008.
"Unmasking The Pollution Haven Effect,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 223-254, 02.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995.
"Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras,"
NBER Working Papers
5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
- Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1998.
"Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market,"
NBER Working Papers
6826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2005. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 376-424, April.
- McAusland, Carol, 2008.
"Trade, politics, and the environment: Tailpipe vs. smokestack,"
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,
Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 52-71, January.
- McAusland, Carol, 2003. "Trade, Politics,and the Environment: Tailpipe vs. Smokestack," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0406x646, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Danilo Pelletiere & Kenneth A. Reinert, 2004. "Used automobile protection and trade: Gravity and ordered probit analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 737-751, December.
- Gruenspecht, Howard K, 1982. "Differentiated Regulation: The Case of Auto Emissions Standards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 328-31, May.
- Danilo Pelletiere & Kenneth A. Reinart, 2002. "The Political Economy of Used Automobile Protection in Latin America," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(7), pages 1019-1037, 07.
- Coase, Ronald H, 1972. "Durability and Monopoly," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 143-49, April.
- Lucas W. Davis, 2008. "The Effect of Driving Restrictions on Air Quality in Mexico City," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 38-81, 02.
- Matthew A. Cole & Robert J.R. Elliott & Jing Zhang, 2011.
"Growth, Foreign Direct Investment, And The Environment: Evidence From Chinese Cities,"
Journal of Regional Science,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 121-138, 02.
- Matthew A Cole & Robert J R Elliott & Jing Zhang, 2009. "Growth, Foreign Direct Investment and the Environment: Evidence From Chinese Cities," Discussion Papers 09-15, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
- Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Zhang, Jing, 2009. "Growth, Foreign Direct Investment and the Environment: Evidence from Chinese Cities," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Frankfurt a.M. 2009 41, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
- Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2009.
"Tax Policies for Low-Carbon Technologies,"
NBER Working Papers
15054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gilbert Metcalf, 2009. "Tax Policies for Low-Carbon Technologies," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0733, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Emilio Gutierrez & Kensuke Teshima, 2011. "Import Competition and Environmental Performance: Evidence from Mexican Plant-level and Satellite Imagery Data," Working Papers 1101, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.