Do Countries with Lax Environmental Regulations Have a Comparative Advantage in Polluting Industries?
We study whether lax environmental regulations induce comparative advantages, causing the least-regulated countries to specialize in polluting industries. We seek to improve three areas in the empirical literature based on the Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek’s factor content of trade, more specifically in Tobey’s (1990) approach: the measurement of environmental endowments, the possible endogeneity due to an omitted variable that has not been considered, and the influence of the industrial level of aggregation. For the econometrical analysis, we use a cross-section of 71 countries to examine the net exports in the most polluting industries in the year 2000. As a result, we find that industrial aggregation matters and we find some evidence in favor of the pollution-haven effect.
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