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Trade and the Environment: The Role of Firm Heterogeneity

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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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    Cited by:

    1. Carl Gaigné & Lota-D Tamini, 2018. "Environmental regulation and eco-industry trade: Theory and evidence from the European Union," Working Papers hal-01941269, HAL.
    2. Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2018. "Why Is Pollution from US Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Environmental Regulation, Productivity, and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(12), pages 3814-3854, December.
    3. Richter, Philipp M. & Schiersch, Alexander, 2017. "CO2 emission intensity and exporting: Evidence from firm-level data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 373-391.
    4. 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.
    5. Maximilian Auffhammer & Weizeng Sun & Jianfeng Wu & Siqi Zheng, 2016. "The Decomposition And Dynamics Of Industrial Carbon Dioxide Emissions For 287 Chinese Cities In 1998–2009," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 460-481, July.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2015. "Why is Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing Declining" The Roles of Trade, Regulation, Productivity, and Preferences," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1982R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Sep 2016.
    9. 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.
    10. Levy, Ting & Dinopoulos, Elias, 2016. "Global environmental standards with heterogeneous polluters," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 482-498.
    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. Udo Kreickemeier & Philipp M. Richter, 2019. "Environmental Policy and Firm Selection in the Open Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 7725, CESifo.
    13. Roy, Jayjit, 2017. "On the environmental consequences of intra-industry trade," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 50-67.
    14. Dana C. Andersen, 2020. "Default Risk, Productivity, and the Environment: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 75(4), pages 677-710, April.
    15. Vera Danilina, 2017. "Trade Integration and the Polarisation of Eco-Labelling Strategies," AMSE Working Papers 1725, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    16. 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.
    17. Roy, Jayjit & Yasar, Mahmut, 2015. "Energy efficiency and exporting: Evidence from firm-level data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(PA), pages 127-135.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Konishi, Yoshifumi & Tarui, Nori, 2014. "Emissions Trading, Firm Heterogeneity, and Intra-Industry Reallocations in the Long Run," CEI Working Paper Series 2014-1, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    21. Vera Danilina, 2017. "Polarisation of Eco-Labelling Strategies," Working Papers 2017.26, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade and environment; monopolistic competition; heterogeneous firms; environmental effects;
    All these keywords.

    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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