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Environmental Regulation Induced Foreign Direct Investment

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  • Robert Elliott
  • Ying Zhou

Abstract

The last decade has witnessed a renewed interest in the relationship between environmental regulations and international capital flows. However, empirical studies have so far failed to find conclusive evidence for this so-called pollution haven or race to the bottom effect where foreign direct investment (FDI) is assumed to be attracted to low regulation countries, regions or states. In this paper we present a simple theoretical framework to demonstrate that greater stringency in environmental standards can lead to a strategic increase in capital inflows which we refer to as environmental regulation induced FDI. Our result reveals a possible explanation for the mixed results in the empirical literature and provides an illustration of the conditions under which environmental regulations in the host country can affect the location decision of foreign firms. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Elliott & Ying Zhou, 2013. "Environmental Regulation Induced Foreign Direct Investment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(1), pages 141-158, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:55:y:2013:i:1:p:141-158
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9620-0
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    Cited by:

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    2. Koch, Nicolas & Basse Mama, Houdou, 2019. "Does the EU Emissions Trading System induce investment leakage? Evidence from German multinational firms," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 479-492.
    3. Laura Birg & Jan S. Voßwinkel, 2021. "Emission taxes, firm relocation, and product differentiation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 297-345, April.
    4. Natalia Zugravu-Soilita, 2018. "The impact of trade in environmental goods on pollution: what are we learning from the transition economies’ experience?," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 20(4), pages 785-827, October.
    5. Antonietti,Roberto & Marzucchi,Alberto, 2013. "Green investment strategies and export performance: A firm-level investigation," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201302, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV).
    6. Voßwinkel, Jan & Birg, Laura, 2018. "Emission Taxes, Firm Relocation, and Quality Differences," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168298, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Guangqin Li & Shiyu Lu & Shuai Shao & Lili Yang & Ke Zhang, 2021. "Do environmental regulations hamper small enterprises' market entry? Evidence from China," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 252-266, January.
    8. Dongmei Tu & Yao Li & Yong Zeng, 2019. "The Effects Of Environmental Regulation On Exporters’ Exiting Behavior: The Evidence From China," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 64(02), pages 301-321, March.
    9. Zhonghua Cheng & Lianshui Li & Jun Liu, 2018. "The spatial correlation and interaction between environmental regulation and foreign direct investment," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 124-146, October.
    10. Greaney, Theresa M. & Li, Yao & Tu, Dongmei, 2017. "Pollution control and foreign firms’ exit behavior in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 148-159.
    11. Fang, Zhenming & Kong, Xiaoran & Sensoy, Ahmet & Cui, Xin & Cheng, Feiyang, 2021. "Government’s awareness of Environmental protection and corporate green innovation: A natural experiment from the new environmental protection law in China," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 294-312.
    12. Matthew Cole & Robert Elliott & Toshihiro Okubo, 2014. "International environmental outsourcing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(4), pages 639-664, November.
    13. Polk, Andreas & Schmutzler, Armin & Müller, Adrian, 2014. "Lobbying and the power of multinational firms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 209-227.
    14. Bassem Kahouli & Anis Omri & Anissa Chaibi, 2014. "Environmental Regulations, Trade, and Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from Gravity Equations," Working Papers 2014-189, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    15. Bialek, Sylwia & Weichenrieder, Alfons J., 2015. "Do stringent environmental policies deter FDI? M&A versus Greenfi eld," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113179, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Jiangfeng Hu & Zhao Wang & Qinghua Huang & Xiaoqin Zhang, 2019. "Environmental Regulation Intensity, Foreign Direct Investment, and Green Technology Spillover—An Empirical Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(10), pages 1-15, May.
    17. Natalia Zugravu-Soilita, 2017. "How does Foreign Direct Investment Affect Pollution? Toward a Better Understanding of the Direct and Conditional Effects," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(2), pages 293-338, February.
    18. Kahouli, Bassem & Omri, Anis, 2017. "Foreign direct investment, foreign trade and environment: New evidence from simultaneous-equation system of gravity models," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 353-364.
    19. Catola, Marco & D'Alessandro, Simone, 2020. "Market competition, lobbying influence and environmental externalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    FDI; Environmental regulations; Pollution halo;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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