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Trade and the Environment: The Role of Firm Heterogeneity

Author

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  • Udo Kreickemeier
  • Philipp M. Richter

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Udo Kreickemeier & Philipp M. Richter, 2012. "Trade and the Environment: The Role of Firm Heterogeneity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1214, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1214
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    6. 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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    16. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:eecrev:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:373-391 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Andersen, Dana C., 2016. "Accounting for Firm Exit and Loss of Variety in the Welfare Cost of Regulations," Working Papers 2016-9, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    4. Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2015. "Why is Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Trade, Regulation, Productivity, and Preferences," NBER Working Papers 20879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Yoshifumi Konishi & Nori Tarui, 2015. "Emissions Trading, Firm Heterogeneity, and Intra-industry Reallocations in the Long Run," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-42.
    6. Levy, Ting & Dinopoulos, Elias, 2016. "Global environmental standards with heterogeneous polluters," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 482-498.
    7. repec:anr:reveco:v:9:y:2017:p:59-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:jeeman:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:50-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Vera Danilina, 2017. "Trade Integration and the Polarisation of Eco-Labelling Strategies," AMSE Working Papers 1725, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
    10. 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.
    11. Jevan Cherniwchan & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2017. "Trade and the Environment: New Methods, Measurements, and Results," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 9(1), pages 59-85, September.
    12. Roy, Jayjit & Yasar, Mahmut, 2015. "Energy efficiency and exporting: Evidence from firm-level data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(PA), pages 127-135.
    13. Yoshifumi Konishi & Nori Tarui, 2013. "Intra-Industry Reallocations and Long-run Impacts of Environmental Regulations," Working Papers 201307, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    14. Andersen, Dana C., 2017. "Default Risk, Productivity, and the Environment: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 2017-8, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    15. Roy, Jayjit, 2017. "On the environmental consequences of intra-industry trade," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 50-67.
    16. Vera Danilina, 2017. "Polarisation of Eco-Labelling Strategies," Working Papers 2017.26, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade and environment; monopolistic competition; heterogeneous firms; environmental effects;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • 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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