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Environmental Policy and Competitiveness: The Porter Hypothesis and the Composition of Capital

  • Xepapadeas, Anastasios
  • de Zeeuw, Aart

The Porter hypothesis suggests a double dividend in the sense that environmental policy improves both environment and competitiveness. The suggestion received strong criticism from economists mainly driven by the idea that if opportunities for higher competitiveness exist firms do not have to be triggered by an extra cost. Therefore, the trade-off for the government between environmental and other targets remains. In this paper a model is developed which confirms the last point but which also draws the attention to some general mechanisms that relax the trade-off considerably. Downsizing and especially modernization of firms subject to environmental policy will increase average productivity and will have positive effects on the marginal decrease of profits and environmental damage. Concluding, a double dividend can generally not be expected but the trade-off is not so grim as is often suggested.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 37 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 165-182

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:37:y:1999:i:2:p:165-182
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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  1. Denny Ellerman, 1998. "Note on The Seemingly Indefinite Extension of Power Plant Lives, A Panel Contribution," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
  2. Michael E. Porter & Claas van der Linde, 1995. "Toward a New Conception of the Environment-Competitiveness Relationship," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 97-118, Fall.
  3. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
  4. Karen Palmer & Wallace E. Oates & Paul R. Portney, 1995. "Tightening Environmental Standards: The Benefit-Cost or the No-Cost Paradigm?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 119-132, Fall.
  5. Rauscher, Michael, 1994. "On Ecological Dumping," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 822-40, Supplemen.
  6. Simpson, R. David & Bradford, Robert III, 1996. "Taxing Variable Cost: Environmental Regulation as Industrial Policy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 282-300, May.
  7. Tobey, James A, 1990. "The Effects of Domestic Environmental Policies on Patterns of World Trade: An Empirical Test," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 191-209.
  8. Tobey, James A., 1990. "Effects of Domestic Environmental Policy on Patterns of International Trade," 1990: The Environment, Government Policies, and International Trade Meeting, December 1990, San Diego, CA 50878, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
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