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Free trade agreements and the environment with pre-existing subsidies

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  • Claustre Bajona

    ()
    (Economics University of Miami)

  • David Kelly

Abstract

Countries that wish to erect trade barriers have a variety of instruments at their disposal. In addition to tariffs and quotas, countries can offer tax relief, low interest financing, reduced regulation ,and other subsidies to domestic industries facing foreign competition. In a trade agreement, countries typically agree to reduce not only tariffs, but also subsidies. We consider the effect of a trade agreement on pollution emissions. We show that while reducing tariffs may indeed increase pollution intensive production in a country, reductions in some subsidies required by the trade agreement reduce pollution in general equilibrium for reasonable parameter values. The reduction results from two effects. First, a reduction in subsidies to firms reduces pollution-causing capital accumulation. Second, if subsidized firms, industries, and/or state owned enterprises are sufficiently more pollution intensive, then reducing subsidies moves capital and labor from more to less pollution intensive firms. We calibrate the model to the case of China and show that pollution emissions after China's accession to the WTO are up to 22.9 percent lower than a baseline in which China does not enter the WTO, without any pollution abatement policy changes or environmental side agreements.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 306.

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Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:306

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Keywords: trade agreements; domestic subsidies; pollution emissions; dynamic general equilibrium;

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  1. Hua Wang & Yanhong Jin, 2007. "Industrial Ownership and Environmental Performance: Evidence from China," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 36(3), pages 255-273, March.
  2. Xing, Yuqing & Kolstad, Charles, 1996. "Environment and Trade: A Review of Theory and Issues," MPRA Paper 27694, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Nandini Gupta, 2005. "Partial Privatization and Firm Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 987-1015, 04.
  4. Piyush Tiwari & Tetsu Kawakami & Masayuki Doi, 2002. "Dual Labor Markets and Trade Reform in China," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 101-113.
  5. Lubomír Lízal & Dietrich Earnhart, 2002. "Effects of Ownership and Financial Status on Corporate Environmental Performance," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 492, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. Hua Wang & Nlandu Mamingi & Benoit Laplante & Susmita Dasgupta, 2003. "Incomplete Enforcement of Pollution Regulation: Bargaining Power of Chinese Factories," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(3), pages 245-262, March.
  7. Rauscher, Michael, 2005. "International Trade, Foreign Investment, and the Environment," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1403-1456 Elsevier.
  8. Low, P., 1992. "International Trade and the Environment," World Bank - Discussion Papers 159, World Bank.
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