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Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from US Manufacturing

  • Arik Levinson

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)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.5.2177
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 2177-92

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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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