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Trade and the environment: The role of firm heterogeneity

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  • Kreickemeier, Udo
  • Richter, Philipp M.

Abstract

This paper derives a new effect of trade liberalisation on the quality of the environment. We show that in the presence of heterogeneous firms the aggregate volume of emissions is influenced not only by the long-established scale effect, but also by a reallocation effect resulting from an increase in the relative size of more productive firms. We show how the relative importance of these effects, and hence the overall effect of trade liberalisation on the environment, is affected by the emission-intensity at the firm level: Aggregate emissions decrease when trade is liberalised if and only if firm-specific emission intensity decreases strongly with increasing firm productivity. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences in its series University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance with number 36.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:36

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Keywords: Trade and Environment; Monopolistic Competition; Heterogeneous Firms; Environmental Effects;

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  1. Frankel, Jeffrey & Rose, Andrew K., 2003. "Is Trade Good or Bad for the Environment? Sorting Out the Causality," Working Paper Series rwp03-038, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," NBER Working Papers 14610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Melitz, Marc J. & Trefler, Daniel, 2012. "Gains from Trade When Firms Matter," Scholarly Articles 10914282, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Shimamoto, Kenichi, 2005. "Industrial characteristics, environmental regulations and air pollution: an analysis of the UK manufacturing sector," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 121-143, July.
  6. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Wu, Shanshan, 2008. "Industrial activity and the environment in China: An industry-level analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 393-408, September.
  7. Bernard, Andrew & Redding, Stephen J & Schott, Peter, 2004. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogenous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4622, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  9. Demidova, Svetlana & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2009. "Trade policy under firm-level heterogeneity in a small economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 100-112, June.
  10. Nicole Gürtzgen & Michael Rauscher, 2000. "Environmental Policy, Intra-Industry Trade and Transfrontier Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(1), pages 59-71, September.
  11. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J. R., 2003. "Determining the trade-environment composition effect: the role of capital, labor and environmental regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 363-383, November.
  12. 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.
  13. Alexander Haupt, 2000. "Environmental Product Standards, International Trade and Monopolistic Competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 585-608, August.
  14. Alexander Haupt, 2006. "Environmental Policy in Open Economies and Monopolistic Competition," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(2), pages 143-167, 02.
  15. Mazzanti, Massimiliano & Zoboli, Roberto, 2009. "Environmental efficiency and labour productivity: Trade-off or joint dynamics? A theoretical investigation and empirical evidence from Italy using NAMEA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1182-1194, February.
  16. Rauscher, Michael, 1997. "International Trade, Factor Movements, and the Environment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290506, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Yoshifumi Konishi & Nori Tarui, 2013. "Intra-Industry Reallocations and Long-run Impacts of Environmental Regulations," Working Papers 201307, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.

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