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The Competitiveness Impacts of Climate Change Mitigation Policies

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  • Joseph E. Aldy
  • William A. Pizer

Abstract

The pollution haven hypothesis suggests that unilateral domestic climate change mitigation policy would impose significant economic costs on carbon-intensive industries, resulting in declining output and increasing net imports. In order to evaluate this hypothesis, we undertake a two-step empirical analysis. First, we estimate how production and net imports change in response to energy prices using a 35-year panel of approximately 450 US manufacturing industries. Second, we use these estimated relationships to simulate the impacts of changes in energy prices resulting from a $15 per ton carbon price. We find that energy-intensive manufacturing industries are more likely to experience decreases in production and increases in net imports than less-intensive industries. Our best estimate is that competitiveness effects--measured by the increase in net imports--are as large as 0.8% for the most energy-intensive industries and represent no more than about one-sixth of the estimated decrease in production.

Suggested Citation

  • Joseph E. Aldy & William A. Pizer, 2015. "The Competitiveness Impacts of Climate Change Mitigation Policies," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 565-595.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jaerec:doi:10.1086/683305
    DOI: 10.1086/683305
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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