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Trade and the Environment: The Role of Firm Heterogeneity

  • Udo Kreickemeier
  • Philipp M. Richter

This paper derives a new effect of trade liberalisation on the quality of the environment. We show that in the presence of heterogeneous firms the aggregate volume of emissions is influenced not only by the long-established scale effect, but also by a reallocation effect resulting from an increase in the relative size of more productive firms. We show how the relative importance of these effects, and hence the overall effect of trade liberalisation on the environment, is affected by the emission-intensity at the firm level: Aggregate emissions decrease when trade is liberalised if and only if firm-specific emission intensity decreases strongly with increasing firm productivity.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-06/cesifo1_wp3846.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3846.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3846
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  1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2004. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogenous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4622, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel S & Kramarz, Francis, 2009. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Marc J. Melitz & Daniel Trefler, 2012. "Gains from Trade When Firms Matter," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 91-118, Spring.
  4. Mazzanti, Massimiliano & Zoboli, Roberto, 2009. "Environmental efficiency and labour productivity: Trade-off or joint dynamics? A theoretical investigation and empirical evidence from Italy using NAMEA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 1182-1194, February.
  5. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  6. Svetlana Demidova & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "Trade Policy under Firm-Level Heterogeneity in a Small Economy," NBER Working Papers 13688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 2005. "Is Trade Good or Bad for the Environment? Sorting Out the Causality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 85-91, February.
  8. Alexander Haupt, 2006. "Environmental Policy in Open Economies and Monopolistic Competition," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(2), pages 143-167, 02.
  9. 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.
  10. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Wu, Shanshan, 2008. "Industrial activity and the environment in China: An industry-level analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 393-408, September.
  11. Alexander Haupt, 2000. "Environmental Product Standards, International Trade and Monopolistic Competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 585-608, August.
  12. Nicole Gürtzgen & Michael Rauscher, 2000. "Environmental Policy, Intra-Industry Trade and Transfrontier Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(1), pages 59-71, September.
  13. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J. R., 2003. "Determining the trade-environment composition effect: the role of capital, labor and environmental regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 363-383, November.
  14. Rauscher, Michael, 1997. "International Trade, Factor Movements, and the Environment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290506.
  15. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 755-787.
  16. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J.R. & Shimamoto, Kenichi, 2005. "Industrial characteristics, environmental regulations and air pollution: an analysis of the UK manufacturing sector," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 121-143, July.
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