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Per-capita Income as a Determinant of International Trade and Environmental Policies

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  • James R. Markusen

Abstract

International trade policy analysis has tended to focus on the production side of general equilibrium, with policies such as a tariff or carbon tax affecting international and internal income distributions through a Heckscher-Ohlin nexus of factor intensities and factor endowments. Here I move away from this structure to focus on demand and preferences. The specific context is an international environmental externality such as carbon emissions, and I assume a high income elasticity of demand for environmental quality. I analyze how per-capita income differences between two countries affect their abatement efforts in a non-cooperative policy-setting game. This outcome can then be used as a disagreement point to analyze cooperative Nash bargaining. In both outcomes, the poor country makes a lower abatement effort in equilibrium; indeed, it may make none at all and cooperative bargaining with only abatement levels as an instrument may offer no gains. Other features include a novel terms-of-trade externality in which an abating country passes on a part of its abatement cost to its trading partner, in which case the non-cooperative and cooperative outcomes are identical under special symmetry assumptions. When per-capita income differences are large, the poor country may be worse off when the rich country abates. Finally, I examine “issue linking” in international bargaining, in which one country is both large and rich, and hence has both a high tariff and a high abatement effort in a non-cooperative equilibrium.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19754.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19754

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  1. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2000. "Free Trade and Global Warming: A Trade Theory View of the Kyoto Protocol," NBER Working Papers 7657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Paola Conconi & Carlo Perroni, 2001. "Issue Linkage and Issue Tie-in in Multilateral Negotiations," CESifo Working Paper Series 601, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Markusen, James R & Wigle, Randall M, 1989. "Nash Equilibrium Tariffs for the United States and Canada: The Roles of Country Size, Scale Economies, and Capital Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 368-86, April.
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  10. Abrego, Lisandro, et al, 2001. "Trade and Environment: Bargaining Outcomes from Linked Negotiations," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 414-28, August.
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  13. Caron, Justin & Fally, Thibault & Markusen, James R., 2012. "Skill Premium and Trade Puzzles: A Solution Linking Production and Preferences," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8999, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. John P. Tang, 2010. "Pollution Havens and the Trade in Toxic Chemicals: Evidence from U.S. Trade Flows," Working Papers 10-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  16. Markusen, James R, 1986. "Explaining the Volume of Trade: An Eclectic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1002-11, December.
  17. Deacon, Robert & Norman, Catherine S, 2004. "Is the environmental Kuznets curve an empirical regularity?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt2m44f7kr, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  18. Ignatius J. Horstmann & James R. Markusen & Jack Robles, 2001. "Multi-Issue Bargaining and Linked Agendas: Ricardo Revisited or No Pain No Gain," NBER Working Papers 8347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Hunter, Linda, 1991. "The contribution of nonhomothetic preferences to trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 345-358, May.
  20. Bengt Kristrom & Pere Riera, 1996. "Is the income elasticity of environmental improvements less than one?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(1), pages 45-55, January.
  21. Yi-Bin Chiu, 2012. "Deforestation and the Environmental Kuznets Curve in Developing Countries: A Panel Smooth Transition Regression Approach," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 60(2), pages 177-194, 06.
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