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Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from US Manufacturing

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  • Arik Levinson

Abstract

Pollution emitted by US manufacturers declined markedly over the past several decades, even as real manufacturing output increased. I first show that most of the decline in US manufacturing pollution has resulted from changing production processes ("technology"), rather than changes in the mix of goods produced. I then show that increased net imports of polluting goods ("international trade") accounts for only a small portion of the pollution reductions from the changing mix of goods. Together, these two findings demonstrate that shifting polluting industries overseas explains only a minor part -- less than 10 percent -- of the cleanup of US manufacturing. (JEL F18, L23, L60, O30, Q52, Q53)

Suggested Citation

  • Arik Levinson, 2009. "Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from US Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2177-2192, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:5:p:2177-92
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.5.2177
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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    1. Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from US Manufacturing (AER 2009) in ReplicationWiki

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