IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Environmental Regulation Induced Foreign Direct Investment

  • Robert J R Elliott
  • Ying Zhou

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.

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: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 13-08.

in new window

Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:13-08
Contact details of provider: Postal: Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Joshua Mathew Anuj & Bouwe Dijkstra & Arijit Mukherjee, . "Environmental Regulation: An Incentive for Foreign Direct Investment," Energy and Environmental Modeling 2007 24000002, EcoMod.
  2. Hillman, Arye L & Ursprung, Heinrich W, 1993. "Multinational Firms, Political Competition, and International Trade Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(2), pages 347-63, May.
  3. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521311120.
  4. Levinson, Arik, 1996. "Environmental regulations and manufacturers' location choices: Evidence from the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 5-29, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Matthew A. Cole & Robert J. R. Elliott & Per G. Fredriksson, 2006. "Endogenous Pollution Havens: Does FDI Influence Environmental Regulations?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 157-178, 03.
  7. Motta, Massimo, 1992. "Multinational firms and the tariff-jumping argument : A game theoretic analysis with some unconventional conclusions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 1557-1571, December.
  8. Rowthorn, R E, 1992. "Intra-industry Trade and Investment under Oligopoly: The Role of Market Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(411), pages 402-14, March.
  9. Michael Rauscher, 1995. "Environmental regulation and the location of polluting industries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 229-244, August.
  10. Per G. Fredriksson, 1999. "The Political Economy of Trade Liberalization and Environmental Policy," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 513-535, January.
  11. 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.
  12. Hoel, Michael, 1997. " Environmental Policy with Endogenous Plant Locations," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(2), pages 241-59, June.
  13. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Global Environment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 851-74, September.
  14. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1987. "Strategic Investments and the Development of Multinationals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 109-21, February.
  15. Oates, Wallace E. & Schwab, Robert M., 1988. "Economic competition among jurisdictions: efficiency enhancing or distortion inducing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 333-354, April.
  16. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-77, March.
  17. James R. Markusen & Edward R. Morey & Nancy Olewiler, 1991. "Environmental Policy When Market Structure and Plant Locations are Endo-genous," NBER Working Papers 3671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Fredriksson, Per G. & List, John A. & Millimet, Daniel L., 2003. "Bureaucratic corruption, environmental policy and inbound US FDI: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1407-1430, August.
  19. 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.
  20. Javorcik, Beata & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2001. "Pollution Havens and Foreign Direct Investment: Dirty Secret or Popular Myth?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2966, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Roberto A. De Santis & Frank Stähler, 2000. "Foreign Direct Investment and Environmental Taxes," Kiel Working Papers 1013, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  22. Horstmann, Ignatius J. & Markusen, James R., 1992. "Endogenous market structures in international trade (natura facit saltum)," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 109-129, February.
  23. List, John A. & Co, Catherine Y., 2000. "The Effects of Environmental Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-20, July.
  24. Arik Levinson & M. Scott Taylor, 2004. "Unmasking the Pollution Haven Effect," NBER Working Papers 10629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Kolstad, Charles D. & Xing, Yuqing, 1998. "Do Lax Environmental Regulations Attract Foreign Investment?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3268z4rx, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  26. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Multinational Corporations and Trade with a Trade-Off Between Proximity and Concentration," NBER Working Papers 4269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. M. Kayalica & Sajal Lahiri, 2005. "Strategic Environmental Policies in the Presence of Foreign Direct Investment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 30(1), pages 1-21, January.
  28. Francesca Sanna-Randaccio & Roberta Sestini, 2010. "The Impact of Unilateral Climate Policy with Endogenous Plant Location and Market Size Asymmetry," Working Papers 2010.107, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  29. Smith, Alasdair, 1987. "Strategic investment, multinational corporations and trade policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 89-96.
  30. Motta, Massimo & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1994. "Does environmental dumping lead to delocation?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 563-576, April.
  31. Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
  32. Fredriksson, Per G., 1997. "The Political Economy of Pollution Taxes in a Small Open Economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 44-58, May.
  33. Ulph, Alistair & Valentini, Laura, 2001. " Is Environmental Dumping Greater When Plants Are Footloose?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 673-88, December.
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:bir:birmec:13-08. 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: (Colin Rowat)

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.