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Has trade openness reduced pollution in China?

Listed author(s):
  • José de Sousa
  • Laura Hering
  • Sandra Poncet

We use recent detailed Chinese data on trade and pollution emissions to assess the environmental consequences of China’s integration into the world economy. We rely on a panel dataset covering 235 Chinese cities over the 2003-2012 period and examine whether environmental repercussions from trade openness depends on whether it emanates from processing or ordinary activities. In line with our theoretical predictions, we find a negative and significant effect of trade on emissions that is magnified for processing trade and activities undertaken by foreign firms: much lower environmental gains result from either ordinary trade activities or domestic firms, even though these are today the main drivers of China’s export and import growth. This result invites caution about the prospects for pollution in a context of decline role of processing trade.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2015-11.

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Date of creation: Jul 2015
Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2015-11
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