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Harmonizing Emissions Policy in Symmetric Countries: Improve the Environment, Improve Welfare?

  • McAusland, Carol

We show that harmonizing emissions policy may be bad for the environment and/or global welfare, even when pollution is transboundary and countries are identical in every way. Harmonization effectively internalizes the transboundary aspects of pollution. But it also hampers producers’ ability to avoid local tailpipe regulation via exports of dirty goods and thereby redistributes incidence between producers and consumers. We develop a generic treatment of the political economy of environmental regulation to examine these competing effects. We find that whether harmonization makes politically motivated governments prefer stricter or weaker policy depends on their constituents’ vested interests and the degree of transboundary pollution transmission.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara in its series University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series with number qt4cj0392t.

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Date of creation: 29 Oct 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt4cj0392t
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  1. Aidt, Toke S., 1998. "Political internalization of economic externalities and environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-16, July.
  2. Huizinga, H.P. & Nielsen, S.B., 1995. "Capital income and profits taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Discussion Paper 1995-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Schleich, Joachim & Orden, David, 2000. "Environmental Quality and Industry Protection with Noncooperative versus Cooperative Domestic and Trade Policies," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(4), pages 681-97, November.
  4. Robert S. Pindyck, 1979. "The Structure of World Energy Demand," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661772, June.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Saul H. Hymans, 1970. "Consumer Durable Spending: Explanation and Prediction," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(2), pages 173-206.
  8. Krutilla, Kerry, 1991. "Environmental regulation in an open economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 127-142, March.
  9. Daniel J. Graham & Stephen Glaister, 2002. "The Demand for Automobile Fuel: A Survey of Elasticities," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, January.
  10. Kennedy Peter W., 1994. "Equilibrium Pollution Taxes in Open Economies with Imperfect Competition," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 49-63, July.
  11. McAusland, Carol, 2003. "Voting for pollution policy: the importance of income inequality and openness to trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 425-451, December.
  12. Schleich, Joachim, 1999. "Environmental quality with endogenous domestic and trade policies1," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 53-71, March.
  13. McAusland, Carol, 2002. "Cross-Hauling of Polluting Factors," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 448-470, November.
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