Trade, environmental regulations and the World Trade Organization : new empirical evidence
AbstractThe paper empirically explores the linkages between environmental regulations and international trade flows. So far, empirical studies either have failed to find any close statistical relationship or have delivered questionable results due to data limitations. Using a comprehensive new database for environmental regulations across countries, a thorough empirical investigation of that linkage for 119 countries and five high-polluting industries is performed. No evidence is found to support the pollution hypothesis that industries facing above-average abatement costs with environmental regulations would prefer pollution havens and relocate their activities. The exception is iron and steel products, where a negative and statistically significant link is established, implying that higher compliance with international treaties and conventions and more stringent regulations are associated with reduced net exports. High-income countries, where environmental regulations are usually more stringent in comparison to middle or low income countries, have experienced a considerable decline in the export-import ratio of iron and steel products since the late 1970s. There is no clear evidence that national governments choose sub-optimal policies that result in insufficient regulations, so the case for environmental standards within the WTO framework is relatively weak.
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 The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3361.
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Water and Industry; Environmental Economics&Policies; Public Health Promotion; Economic Theory&Research; Administrative&Regulatory Law; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Water and Industry; Administrative&Regulatory Law; Trade and Services;
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.:
- Randy Becker & Vernon Henderson, 2000. "Effects of Air Quality Regulations on Polluting Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 379-421, April.
- Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2004.
"Trade, Growth, and the Environment,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 7-71, March.
- Martin Jänicke & Manfred Binder & Harald Mönch, 1997. "‘Dirty industries’: Patterns of change in industrial countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(4), pages 467-491, June.
- Josh Ederington & Jenny Minier, 2003.
"Is environmental policy a secondary trade barrier? An empirical analysis,"
Canadian Journal of Economics,
Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(1), pages 137-154, February.
- Josh Ederington & Jenny Minier, 2000. "Is Environmental Policy a Secondary Trade Barrier? An Empirical Analysis," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1507, Econometric Society.
- de Melo, Jaime & Grether, Jean-Marie, 2003.
"Globalization and Dirty Industries: Do Pollution Havens Matter?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3932, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jean-Marie Grether & Jaime de Melo, 2003. "Globalization and Dirty Industries: Do Pollution Havens Matter?," NBER Working Papers 9776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Harrison, Ann E., 2003.
"Moving to greener pastures? Multinationals and the pollution haven hypothesis,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-23, February.
- Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Harrison, Ann E., 1997. "Moving to greener pastures : multinationals and the pollution-haven hypothesis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1744, The World Bank.
- Gunnar A. Eskeland & Ann E. Harrison, 2002. "Moving to Greener Pastures? Multinationals and the Pollution Haven Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 8888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steven Suranovic, 2002. "International Labour and Environmental Standards Agreements: Is This Fair Trade?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 231-245, 02.
- Arik Levinson, 2002. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evident," Working Papers gueconwpa~02-02-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
- Maskus, Keith E., 2002. "Regulatory standards in the WTO: Comparing intellectual property rights with competition policy, environmental protection, and core labor standards," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 135-152, July.
- Copeland, Brian R & Taylor, M Scott, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 755-87, August.
- Magnus Lodefalk & John Whalley, 2002. "Reviewing Proposals for a World Environmental Organisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 601-617, 05.
- World Bank, 2003. "World Development Indicators 2003," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13920.
- Tobey, James A, 1990. "The Effects of Domestic Environmental Policies on Patterns of World Trade: An Empirical Test," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 191-209.
- Eli Berman & Linda T.M. Bui, 1998.
"Environmental Regulation and Productivity: Evidence from Oil Refineries,"
0091, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
- 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.
- Eli Berman & Linda T.M. Bui, 1998. "Environmental Regulation and Productivity: Evidence from Oil Refineries," NBER Working Papers 6776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- List, John A. & Co, Catherine Y., 2000. "The Effects of Environmental Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-20, July.
- Levinson, Arik, 2003. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 91-106, March Cit.
- Wolfgang Keller & Arik Levinson, 2002. "Pollution Abatement Costs and Foreign Direct Investment Inflows to U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 691-703, November.
- White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
- Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
- Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
- Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1998.
"Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?,"
NBER Working Papers
6707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levinson, Arik, 1996. "Environmental regulations and manufacturers' location choices: Evidence from the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 5-29, October.
- Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki & Sewadeh, Mirvat, 2002. "Dirty exports and environmental regulation : do standards matter to trade?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2806, The World Bank.
- World Bank, 2001. "Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries 2001," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14779.
- Muthukumara Mani & Per G. Fredriksson, 2002. "The Rule of Law and the Pattern of Environment Protection," IMF Working Papers 02/49, International Monetary Fund.
- Arik Levinson, 1999. "State Taxes and Interstate Hazardous Waste Shipments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 666-677, June.
- Xinpeng Xu, 2000. "International Trade and Environmental Regulation: Time Series Evidence and Cross Section Test," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(3), pages 233-257, November.
- Kirkpatrick, Colin & Shimamoto, Kenichi, 2005. "The Effect of Environmental Regulation on the Locational Choice of Japanese Foreign Direct Investment," Impact Assessment Research Centre (IARC) Working Papers 30584, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
- Medalla, Erlinda M. & Lazaro, Dorothea C., 2005. "Does Trade Lead to a Race to the Bottom in Environmental Standards? Another Look at the Issues," Discussion Papers DP 2005-23, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
- Yang Lu, 2010. "Do environmental regulations influence the competitiveness of pollution-intensive products?," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 276-298, June.
- Babool, Md. Ashfaqul Islam & Reed, Michael R., 2005. "International Competitiveness and Environmental Regulations," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19496, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.