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Is Trade Good or Bad for the Environment? Sorting Out the Causality

  • Frankel, Jeffrey

    (Harvard U)

  • Rose, Andrew K.

    (U of California, Berkeley)

We seek to contribute to the debate over globalization and the environment by asking: What is the effect of trade on a country's environment, for a given level of GDP? We take specific account of the endogeneity of trade, using exogenous geographic determinants of trade as instrumental variables. We find that trade tends to reduce three measures of air pollution. Statistical significance is high for concentrations of SO2 , moderate for NO2 , and lacking for particulate matter. While results for other environmental measures are not as encouraging, there is little evidence that trade has a detrimental effect on the environment.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp03-038.

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Date of creation: Sep 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp03-038
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