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Unraveling the worldwide pollution haven effect

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  • Grether, Jean-Marie
  • Mathys, Nicole A.
  • de Melo, Jaime

Abstract

This paper contributes to the debate on the existence of pollution haven effects by systematically measuring the pollution content of trade (measured by the pollution content of imports, PCI) and decomposing it into three components-a"deep"component (unrelated to the environmental debate but including variables traditionally present in the gravity model) and two components (factor endowments and environmental policies) that occupy center stage in the debate on trade and the environment. The decomposition is carried out for 1986-88 for an extensive data set covering 10 pollutants, 48 countries, and 79 ISIC 4-digit sectors. Illustrative decompositions presented for three of the 10 pollutants in the data set indicate a significant pollution haven effect which increases the PCI of the North because of stricter environmental regulations in the North. At the same time, the factor endowment effect decreases the PCI of the North as the North is relatively well-endowed in capital and pollution-intensive activities are also capital-intensive. On a global scale, because the bulk of trade is intraregional with a high North-North share, these effects are small relative to the"deep"determinants of the worldwide pollution content of trade. In sum, although the impact has been stronger on vertical (North-South) trade flows, differences in factor endowments and environmental policies have only marginally affected the pollution content of world trade during the 1986-88 period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4047.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4047

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Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Water and Industry; Brown Issues and Health; Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Water Resources Assessment;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jean-Marie Grether & Nicole A. Mathys & Jaime de Melo, 2006. "Unraveling the World-Wide Pollution Haven Effect," Working Papers 2006.122, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Chris Milner & Fangya Xu, . "On The Pollution Content of China’s Trade: Clearing the Air?," Discussion Papers 09/19, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  3. Jaime de Melo, 2012. "Trade in a 'Green Growth' Development Strategy Global Scale Issues and Challenges," Working Papers 2012.47, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. de Melo, Jaime & Grether, Jean-Marie & Mathys, Nicole Andréa, 2007. "Trade, Technique and Composition Effects: What is Behind the Fall in World-wide SO2 Emissions, 1990-2000?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6522, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Anna Montini & Roberto Zoboli, 2008. "Environmental Kuznets Curves for Air Pollutant Emissions in Italy: Evidence from Environmental Accounts (NAMEA) Panel Data," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 277-301.
  6. Nicole A. MATHYS & Jaime de MELO, 2011. "The Political Economy of Climate Change Policies: Political Economy Aspects of Climate Change Mitigation Efforts," Working Papers P24, FERDI.
  7. Nicole A. MATHYS & Jaime de MELO, 2010. "Trade and Climate Change: The Challenges Ahead," Working Papers P14, FERDI.
  8. Millimet, Daniel L., 2013. "Environmental Federalism: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Grether, Jean-Marie & Mathys, Nicole A., 2013. "The pollution terms of trade and its five components," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 19-31.
  10. Massimiliano Mazzanti & Anna Montini & Roberto Zoboli, 2007. "Economic Dynamics, Emission Trends and the EKC Hypothesis New Evidence Using NAMEA and Provincial Panel Data for Italy," Working Papers 2007.24, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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