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A reexamination of the role of income for the trade and environment debate

  • Kellenberg, Derek K.

Recent work on the relationship between international trade and the environment has found small but negative effects of increased openness on measures of pollution for the average country. On a panel of 128 countries it is shown that, like previous studies, the trade intensity effect is negative and significant for the average country for emissions of four localized pollutants (SO2, NOX, CO, and VOCs). However, trade intensity effects are not uniform across countries of different income levels. In fact, a strong non-monotonicity exists in trade intensity elasticities. It is found that countries with relative world incomes less than 0.5 or greater than 2.5 tend to have positive trade intensity elasticities, while countries with relative world incomes between 0.5 and 2.5 tend to have negative trade intensity elasticities. The results imply that both factor abundance and pollution haven effects may be at work, but that the dominance of one effect over the other depends on a country's level of development.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 68 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (December)
Pages: 106-115

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2008:i:1-2:p:106-115
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Is Trade Good or Bad for the Environment? Sorting Out the Causality," NBER Working Papers 9201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Maddison, David, 2006. "Environmental Kuznets curves: A spatial econometric approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 218-230, March.
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  8. Gawande, Kishore & Berrens, Robert P. & Bohara, Alok K., 2001. "A consumption-based theory of the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 101-112, April.
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  10. Krishna Paudel & Hector Zapata & Dwi Susanto, 2005. "An Empirical Test of Environmental Kuznets Curve for Water Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(3), pages 325-348, 07.
  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. Chintrakarn, Pandej & Millimet, Daniel L., 2006. "The environmental consequences of trade: Evidence from subnational trade flows," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 430-453, July.
  13. Cole, Matthew A., 2004. "Trade, the pollution haven hypothesis and the environmental Kuznets curve: examining the linkages," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 71-81, January.
  14. Hilton, F. G. Hank & Levinson, Arik, 1998. "Factoring the Environmental Kuznets Curve: Evidence from Automotive Lead Emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 126-141, March.
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