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