IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Is there an environmental benefit to being an exporter? Evidence from firm-level data

  • Svetlana Batrakova


  • Ronald Davies

One concern over globalisation is its impact on the environment. We analyse the consequences of becoming an exporter on a firm’s energy consumption. We show theoretically and empirically with firm-level data that the increase in energy use when exporting is negatively correlated with energy intensity. This is because, although energy use rises with exporting due to greater production and transportation, it can be offset by adopting more energy-efficient technology. This second effect is strongest for high energy intensity firms. As such, analysis of average effects, as in other studies, conceals important connections between the trade and the environment. Copyright Kiel Institute 2012

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer & Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy) in its journal Review of World Economics.

Volume (Year): 148 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 449-474

in new window

Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:148:y:2012:i:3:p:449-474
DOI: 10.1007/s10290-012-0125-2
Contact details of provider: Web page:


Kiellinie 66, D-24105 Kiel

Phone: +49 431 8814-1
Fax: +49 431 8814528
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Comparative advantage and heterogeneous firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3700, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  3. Facundo Albornoz & Matthew A. Cole & Robert J. R. Elliott & Marco G. Ercolani, 2009. "In Search of Environmental Spillovers," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 136-163, 01.
  4. Girma, Sourafel & Görg, Holger, 2005. "Foreign direct investment, spillovers and absorptive capacity: evidence from quantile regressions," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,13, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Ederington Josh & Levinson Arik & Minier Jenny, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Pollution Havens," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-24, November.
  6. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1998. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," NBER Working Papers 6707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
  8. repec:spr:weltar:v:144:y:2008:i:4:p:596-635 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Josh Ederington & Arik Levinson & Jenny Minier, 2005. "Footloose and Pollution-Free," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 92-99, February.
  10. Arik Levinson & M. Scott Taylor, 2008. "Unmasking The Pollution Haven Effect," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 223-254, 02.
  11. Gunnar A. Eskeland & Ann E. Harrison, 2002. "Moving to Greener Pastures? Multinationals and the Pollution Haven Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 8888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kaiser, Kai & Schulze, Günther G., 2003. "International Competition and Environmental Expenditures: Empirical Evidence from Indonesian Manufacturing Plants," HWWA Discussion Papers 222, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  13. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Arik Levinson, 2009. "Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from US Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2177-92, December.
  15. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Strobl, Eric, 2008. "The environmental performance of firms: The role of foreign ownership, training, and experience," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 538-546, April.
  16. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  17. Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "The causal effects of exports on firm size and labor productivity: first evidence from a matching approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 287-292, October.
  18. 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.
  19. Daniel Millimet & John List & Per Fredriksson & Warren McHone, 2003. "Effects of Environmental Regulations on Manufacturing Plant Births: Evidence from a Propensity Score Matching Estimator," Natural Field Experiments 00501, The Field Experiments Website.
  20. Roger Koenker & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Quantile Regression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 143-156, Fall.
  21. Mahmut Yasar & Carl H. Nelson & Roderick Rejesus, 2003. "Productivity and Exporting Status of Manufacturing Firms: Evidence from Quantile Regressions," Emory Economics 0323, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  22. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  23. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 485, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  24. Wolfgang Keller & Arik Levinson, 2002. "Pollution Abatement Costs and Foreign Direct Investment Inflows to U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 691-703, November.
  25. Markusen, James R. & Morey, Edward R. & Olewiler, Nancy, 1995. "Competition in regional environmental policies when plant locations are endogenous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-77, January.
  26. Judith M. Dean & Mary E. Lovely, 2008. "Trade Growth, Production Fragmentation, and China's Environment," NBER Working Papers 13860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Paula Bustos, 2009. "Trade liberalization, exports and technology upgrading: Evidence on the impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinean firms," Economics Working Papers 1173, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  28. World Bank, 2010. "World Development Indicators 2010," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4373.
  29. Copeland, Brian R & Taylor, M Scott, 1995. "Trade and Transboundary Pollution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 716-37, September.
  30. McGuire, Martin C., 1982. "Regulation, factor rewards, and international trade," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 335-354, April.
  31. Girma, Sourafel & Hanley, Aoife & Tintelnot, Felix, 2008. "Exporting and the environment: a new look with micro-data," Kiel Working Papers 1423, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  32. Pethig, Rudiger, 1976. "Pollution, welfare, and environmental policy in the theory of Comparative Advantage," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 160-169, February.
  33. Matthew Cole, Robert Elliott and Kenichi Shimamoto, 2005. "Globalization, Firm-Level Characteristics and Environmental Management: A Study of Japan," Discussion Papers 05-17, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  34. Sourafel Girma & David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2004. "Does Exporting Increase Productivity? A Microeconometric Analysis of Matched Firms," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(5), pages 855-866, November.
  35. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1997. "A Simple Model of Trade, Capital Mobility, and the Environment," NBER Working Papers 5898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
  37. Fergal McCann, 2009. "Importing, exporting and productivity in Irish manufacturing," Working Papers 200922, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  38. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 755-787.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:148:y:2012:i:3:p:449-474. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.