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Trade Agreements and the Environment: An Industry Level Study for NAFTA


  • MacDermott Raymond

    () (Virginia Military Institute)


The aim of this paper is to explore two apparently unrelated issues regional trade agreements and the pollution-haven hypothesis. They are linked by the belief that the elimination of trade barriers will further encourage firms already considering a move to countries with weak environmental regulations. Given the proliferation of trade agreements, as well as the movement of environmental issues to the forefront of our political process, a better understanding of the policy effects is needed. We apply a test equation loosely based on the gravity model to a data set of industry-level foreign direct investment from the Unites States to 23 partner countries from 1982 to 1999. Using pollution emissions as a proxy for environmental stringency, we find strong evidence in support of the pollution-haven hypothesis. We also find the NAFTA increase outflows of U.S. FDI. Finally, the NAFTA appears to encourage the pollution-haven effect.

Suggested Citation

  • MacDermott Raymond, 2006. "Trade Agreements and the Environment: An Industry Level Study for NAFTA," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 6(3), pages 1-24, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:6:y:2006:i:3:n:3

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    Cited by:

    1. José-Antonio Monteiro & Madina Kukenova, 2008. "Does Lax Environmental Regulation Attract FDI When Accounting For "Third-Country" Effects?," IRENE Working Papers 08-01, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    2. Lawn, Philip & Clarke, Matthew, 2010. "The end of economic growth? A contracting threshold hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2213-2223, September.
    3. Lina M. Cortés & Iván A. Durán & Sandra Gaitán & Mateo Vasco, 2017. "Mergers and Acquisitions in Latin America: Industrial Productivity and Corporate Governance," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(10), pages 2179-2198, October.
    4. Mateo Vasco & Lina M. Cortés & Sandra C. Gaitán & Iván A. Durán, 2012. "Aplicación del modelo gravitacional al impacto del gobierno corporativo en las fusiones y adquisiciones en Latinoamérica," Documentos de Trabajo CIEF 010709, Universidad EAFIT.

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