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Agricultural primary commodity export and environmental degradation: what consequences for population’s health?

  • Alassane DRABO

In the economic literature it is generally found that trade openness affects environment through various channels. While the mechanisms through which trade is associated with pollution are largely investigated theoretically and empirically, the role played by each trade component has not yet received enough attention. This paper attempts to bridge this gap by examining the consequences of agricultural primary commodity export on population’s health via physical environment degradation. Using panel data from 1991 to 2009, and instrumental variables technique, the findings suggest that agricultural primary commodity export increases agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions as well as water pollution (biological oxygen demand). This environmental degradation from trade worsens population’s health (infant and child mortality rates, and life expectancy at birth). These results are robust to different subcomponents of primary agricultural export, to African sample, and to other environmental variables considered.

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Paper provided by CERDI in its series Working Papers with number 201110.

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Length: 49
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1253
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  1. Dasgupta, Susmita & Meisner, Craig & Wheeler, David & Jin, Yanhong, 2002. "Agricultural Trade, Development and Toxic Risk," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1401-1412, August.
  2. Chintrakarn, Pandej & Millimet, Daniel, 2005. "The Environmental Consequences of Trade: Evidence from Subnational Trade Flows," Departmental Working Papers 0501, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  3. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2001. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 877-908, September.
  4. Alassane Drabo, 2010. "Income inequality and health status: role of institutions quality," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(4), pages 2533-2548.
  5. Baek, Jungho & Cho, Yongsung & Koo, Won W., 2008. "The Environmental Consequences of Globalization: A Country-Specific Time-Series Analysis," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6510, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  6. Judith M. Dean, 2002. "Does trade liberalization harm the environment? A new test," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 819-842, November.
  7. Carlo Perroni & Randall M. Wigle, 1994. "International Trade and Environmental Quality: How Important Are the Linkages?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 551-67, August.
  8. Alassane Drabo, 2011. "Impact of Income Inequality on Health: Does Environment Quality Matter?," Working Papers halshs-00552993, HAL.
  9. Alassane Drabo, 2010. "Environment Quality and Economic Convergence: Extending Environmental Kuznets Curve Hypothesis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 1617-1632.
  10. Managi, Shunsuke & Hibiki, Akira & Tsurumi, Tetsuya, 2009. "Does trade openness improve environmental quality?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 346-363, November.
  11. Kellenberg, Derek K., 2008. "A reexamination of the role of income for the trade and environment debate," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 106-115, December.
  12. Shon P. Williams & C. Richard Shumway, 2000. "Trade Liberalization and Agricultural Chemical Use: United States and Mexico," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(1), pages 183-199.
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