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Emissions leakage, environmental policy and trade frictions

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  • Holladay, J. Scott
  • Mohsin, Mohammed
  • Pradhan, Shreekar

Abstract

We develop a two-good general equilibrium model of a small open economy to decompose the effect of a country's unilateral strengthening of environmental policy on pollution emissions in the rest of the world, known as emissions leakage. We show analytically and numerically that the level of emissions leakage depends on the level of trade friction in the service sector. In the model, production in the manufacturing sector is associated with pollution emissions, and production in the service sector is clean. In a special case with free trade in manufacturing and no trade in services, no leakage occurs. Allowing for trade in services, we solve for the relationship between trade frictions in the service sector and leakage. At lower levels of service sector's trade friction, leakage from a small strengthening of environmental regulation decreases (increases) if services are imported (exported). Finally, we simulate the model, calibrating the to the Canadian economy to compare these effects’ relative sizes over a range of plausible parameter values. Leakage is about 18% lower when using trade friction levels estimated from the literature rather than assuming no trade friction in services.

Suggested Citation

  • Holladay, J. Scott & Mohsin, Mohammed & Pradhan, Shreekar, 2018. "Emissions leakage, environmental policy and trade frictions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 95-113.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:95-113
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2017.10.004
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    2. Hartmut Egger & Udo Kreickemeier & Philipp M. Richter, 2021. "Environmental Policy and Firm Selection in the Open Economy," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 655-690.
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    4. Blazquez, Jorge & Galeotti, Marzio & Manzano, Baltasar & Pierru, Axel & Pradhan, Shreekar, 2021. "Effects of Saudi Arabia’s economic reforms: Insights from a DSGE model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 145-169.
    5. Qiao Chen & Jianquan Cheng & Zhiqin Wu, 2019. "Evolution of the Cultural Trade Network in “the Belt and Road” Region: Implication for Global Cultural Sustainability," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(10), pages 1-23, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; Emissions leakage; Trade costs; Trade in services;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment

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