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The Case of the Missing Pollution Haven Hypothesis


  • Daniel Millimet


  • John List



One particularly vexing puzzle for economists and policymakers over the past several decades concerns the empirical significance of the theoretically predicted pollution haven hypothesis. While neoclassical theory and conventional wisdom both surmise that local economies will suffer deleterious effects from stricter environmental regulations, empirical studies have largely failed to validate such claims. This study utilizes the method of matching to show that the impact of stricter regulation is heterogeneous spatially, varying systematically based on location-specific attributes. Previous studies that assume a homogenous response may therefore inadvertently mask the overall impact of more stringent regulations by pooling unaffected and affected regions. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Millimet & John List, 2004. "The Case of the Missing Pollution Haven Hypothesis," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 239-262, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:26:y:2004:i:3:p:239-262
    DOI: 10.1007/s11149-004-7550-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Randy Becker & Vernon Henderson, 2000. "Effects of Air Quality Regulations on Polluting Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 379-421, April.
    2. Daniel L. Millimet & John A. List & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Real Progress or Misspecified Models?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1038-1047, November.
    3. John A. List & Daniel L. Millimet & Per G. Fredriksson & W. Warren McHone, 2003. "Effects of Environmental Regulations on Manufacturing Plant Births: Evidence from a Propensity Score Matching Estimator," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 944-952, November.
    4. John A. List & W. Warren McHone & Daniel L. Millimet, 2003. "Effects of air quality regulation on the destination choice of relocating plants," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(4), pages 657-678, October.
    5. Abay Mulatu & Raymond J.G.M. Florax & Cees A.A.M. Withagen, 2001. "Environmental Regulation and Competitiveness," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-039/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Tim Jeppesen & John A. List & Henk Folmer, 2002. "Environmental Regulations and New Plant Location Decisions: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 19-49.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:oup:renvpo:v:11:y:2017:i:2:p:183-206. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Cave, Lisa A. & Blomquist, Glenn C., 2008. "Environmental policy in the European Union: Fostering the development of pollution havens?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 253-261, April.
    4. George Adu, 2013. "Effects on growth of environmental policy in a small open economy," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 15(4), pages 343-365, October.
    5. John McCollough & Miao He & Arzu Tay Bayramoglu, 2016. "Pollution Havens and Their Relationship to the Environmental Kuznets Curve: The Case of the us Tyre Industry," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 258-272, October.
    6. repec:kap:enreec:v:68:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0051-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Antoci, Angelo & Borghesi, Simone & Russu, Paolo & Ticci, Elisa, 2015. "Foreign direct investments, environmental externalities and capital segmentation in a rural economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 341-353.
    8. Millimet, Daniel L. & Roy, Jayjit, 2011. "Three New Empirical Tests of the Pollution Haven Hypothesis When Environmental Regulation is Endogenous," IZA Discussion Papers 5911, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Jorge García & Shakeb Afsah & Thomas Sterner, 2009. "Which Firms are More Sensitive to Public Disclosure Schemes for Pollution Control? Evidence from Indonesia’s PROPER Program," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(2), pages 151-168, February.
    10. Rahel Aichele & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2013. "Estimating the Effects of Kyoto on Bilateral Trade Flows Using Matching Econometrics," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 303-330, March.
    11. Baomin Dong & Jiong Gong & Xin Zhao, 2012. "FDI and environmental regulation: pollution haven or a race to the top?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 216-237, April.
    12. Lucia Lavric & Nick Hanley, 2014. "The effects of energy costs on firm re-location decisions," Discussion Papers in Environment and Development Economics 2014-02, University of St. Andrews, School of Geography and Sustainable Development.
    13. Simone Borghesi & Giorgia Giovannetti & Gianluca Iannucci & Paolo Russu, 2016. "The dynamics of foreign direct investments in land and pollution accumulation," SEEDS Working Papers 1116, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Nov 2016.
    14. repec:sss:wpaper:201402 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Rahel Aichele, 2013. "Trade, Climate Policy and Carbon Leakage - Theory and Empirical Evidence," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 49, April.
    16. Abay Mulatu, 2008. "Weighing the relative importance of environmental regulation for industry location," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0803, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    17. Abay Mulatu & Reyer Gerlagh & Dan Rigby & Ada Wossink, 2010. "Environmental Regulation and Industry Location in Europe," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 45(4), pages 459-479, April.
    18. Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2009. "Environmental Effects of International Trade," Scholarly Articles 4481652, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
    19. Koubi, Vally & Bernauer, Thomas, 2008. "Globalization and the environment," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 24, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    20. Ulrich Wagner & Christopher Timmins, 2009. "Agglomeration Effects in Foreign Direct Investment and the Pollution Haven Hypothesis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(2), pages 231-256, June.
    21. Sauma, Enzo, 2012. "The impact of transmission constraints on the emissions leakage under cap-and-trade program," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 164-171.
    22. Cai, Xiqian & Lu, Yi & Wu, Mingqin & Yu, Linhui, 2016. "Does environmental regulation drive away inbound foreign direct investment? Evidence from a quasi-natural experiment in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 73-85.
    23. Yihsu Chen & Andrew Liu, 2013. "Emissions trading, point-of-regulation and facility siting choices in the electric markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 251-286, December.
    24. Garcia, Jorge H. & Afsah, Shakeb & Sterner, Thomas, 2008. "What Kinds of Firms Are More Sensitive to Public Disclosure Programs for Pollution Control? The Case of Indonesia’s PROPER Program," Discussion Papers dp-08-12-efd, Resources For the Future.


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