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Why are firms that export cleaner? International trade and CO2 emissions

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  • Forslid, Rikard
  • Okubo, Toshihiro
  • Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene

Abstract

This paper develops a model of trade and CO2 emissions with heterogenous firms, where firms make abatement investments and thereby have an impact on their level of emissions. The model shows that investments in abatements are positively related to firm productivity and firm exports. Emission intensity is, however, negatively related to .rms. productivity and exports. The basic reason for these results is that a larger production scale supports more investments in abatement and, in turn, lower emissions per output. We show that the overall effect of trade is to reduce emissions. Trade weeds out some of the least productive and dirtiest firms thereby shifting production away from relatively dirty low productive local firms to more productive and cleaner exporters. The overall effect of trade is therefore to reduce emissions. We test empirical implications of the model using unique Swedish firm-level data. The empirical results support our model.

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  • Forslid, Rikard & Okubo, Toshihiro & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen-Helene, 2011. "Why are firms that export cleaner? International trade and CO2 emissions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8583, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8583
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    Cited by:

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    2. Cui, Jingbo & Lapan, Harvey E. & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2012. "Are exporters more environmentally friendly than non-exporters? Theory and evidence," ISU General Staff Papers 201210040700001076, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Ahmed, Khalid & Rehman, Mujeeb Ur & Ozturk, Ilhan, 2017. "What drives carbon dioxide emissions in the long-run? Evidence from selected South Asian Countries," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1142-1153.
    4. Baldoni, Edoardo & Coderoni, Silvia & Esposti, Roberto, 2017. "The Productivity-environment Nexus At The Farm Level. The Case Of Carbon Footprint Of Lombardy FADN Farms," 2017 International Congress, August 28-September 1, 2017, Parma, Italy 260895, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Cherniwchan, Jevan, 2017. "Trade liberalization and the environment: Evidence from NAFTA and U.S. manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 130-149.
    6. Anouliès, Lisa, 2017. "Heterogeneous firms and the environment: a cap-and-trade program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 84-101.
    7. Juin-Jen Chang & Yi-Ling Cheng & Shin-Kun Peng, 2019. "Trade, Emissions, and Regulatory (Non-)Compliance: Implications of Firm Heterogeneity," IEAS Working Paper : academic research 19-A005, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
    8. Forslid, Rikard & Okubo, Toshihiro & Ulltveit-Moe, Karen Helene, 2018. "Why are firms that export cleaner? International trade, abatement and environmental emissions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 166-183.
    9. Jingbo Cui & Hang Qian, 2017. "The effects of exports on facility environmental performance: Evidence from a matching approach," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(7), pages 759-776, October.
    10. Geoffrey Barrows & Helene Ollivier, 2016. "Emission intensity and firm dynamics: reallocation, product mix, and technology in India," GRI Working Papers 245, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    11. Juin‐Jen Chang & Yi‐Ling Cheng & Shin‐Kun Peng, 2022. "Trade, emissions, and regulatory (non‐)compliance: Implications of firm heterogeneity," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 57-82, February.
    12. Baldoni, Edoardo & Coderoni, Silvia & Esposti, Roberto, 2017. "The productivity and environment nexus with farm-level data. The Case of Carbon Footprint in Lombardy FADN farms," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), vol. 6(2), September.
    13. Tsaur‐Chin Wu & Ching‐Yang Liang & Kun‐Li Lin, 2022. "Environmental effectiveness of tax compliance policy in the presence of labor unions," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 18(2), pages 137-153, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    CO2-emissions; heterogeneous firms; international trade;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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