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Inter-regional Competition, Comparative Advantage, and Environmental Federalism

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Author Info

  • Paul Missios

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

  • Ida Ferrara

    ()
    (DEpartment of Economics, York University, Toronto, Canada)

  • Halis Murat Yildiz

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

Abstract

In this paper, we compare endogenous environmental policy setting with centralized and decentralized governments when regions have comparative advantages in different polluting goods. We develop a two-region, two-good model with inter-regional environmental damages and perfect competition in product markets, where both regions produce both goods. Despite positive spillovers of pollution across regions, the model predicts that decentralization may lead to weaker or stricter environmental standards or taxes, depending on the degree of regional comparative advantage and the extent of transboundary pollution. This suggests that federalism can lead to either a "race to the bottom" or a "race to the top," without relying on inefficient lobbying efforts or capital competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ryerson University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 027.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rye:wpaper:wp027

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Keywords: environmental policy; federalism; centralism; public economics;

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References

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  1. Henrik Horn & Giovanni Maggi & Robert W. Staiger, 2006. "Trade Agreements as Endogenously Incomplete Contracts," NBER Working Papers 12745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sigman, Hilary, 2005. "Transboundary spillovers and decentralization of environmental policies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 82-101, July.
  3. Fredriksson, Per G & Gaston, Noel, 2000. "Environmental Governance in Federal Systems: The Effects of Capital Competition and Lobby Groups," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(3), pages 501-14, July.
  4. Kunce, Mitch & Shogren, Jason F., 2005. "On interjurisdictional competition and environmental federalism," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 212-224, July.
  5. John A. List & Shelby Gerking, 2000. "Regulatory Federalism and Environmental Protection in the United States," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 453-471.
  6. Fredriksson, Per G. & Mani, Muthukumara & Wollscheid, Jim R., 2006. "Environmental federalism : a panacea or Pandora's box for developing countries?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3847, The World Bank.
  7. James R. Markusen & Edward R. Morey & Nancy Olewiler, 1992. "Noncooperative Equilibria in Regional Environmental Policies When Plant Locations are Endogenous," NBER Working Papers 4051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Daniel L. Millimet, 2003. "Assessing the Empirical Impact of Environmental Federalism," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 711-733.
  9. Wellisch Dietmar, 1995. "Locational Choices of Firms and Decentralized Environmental Policy with Various Instruments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 290-310, May.
  10. Kunce, Mitch & Shogren, Jason F., 2002. "On Environmental Federalism and Direct Emission Control," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 238-245, March.
  11. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Selden, Thomas M., 1995. "Stoking the fires? CO2 emissions and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 85-101, May.
  12. Richter, Wolfram F. & Wellisch, Dietmar, 1996. "The provision of local public goods and factors in the presence of firm and household mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 73-93, April.
  13. Aidt, Toke S., 1998. "Political internalization of economic externalities and environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-16, July.
  14. Levinson, Arik, 1997. "A Note on Environmental Federalism: Interpreting Some Contradictory Results," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 359-366, July.
  15. Ulph, Alistair, 2000. "Harmonization and Optimal Environmental Policy in a Federal System with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 224-241, March.
  16. Murdoch, James C. & Sandler, Todd, 1997. "The voluntary provision of a pure public good: The case of reduced CFC emissions and the Montreal Protocol," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 331-349, February.
  17. Peltzman, Sam & Tideman, T Nicolaus, 1972. "Local versus National Pollution Control: Note," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 959-63, December.
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Cited by:
  1. William Shobe & Dallas Burtraw, 2012. "Rethinking Environmental Federalism in a Warming World," Working Papers 2012-01, Center for Economic and Policy Studies.

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