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The Competitiveness Impacts of Climate Change Mitigation Policies

  • Aldy, Joseph E.

    (Harvard University)

  • Pizer, William A.

    (Duke University)

The pollution haven hypothesis suggests that unilateral domestic emission mitigation policies could cause adverse "competitiveness" impacts on domestic manufacturers as they lose market share to foreign competitors and relocate production activity--and emissions--to unregulated economies. We construct a precise definition of competitiveness impacts appropriate for climate change regulation that can be estimated exclusively with domestic production and net import data. We use this definition and a 20+ year panel of 400+ U.S. manufacturing industries to estimate the effects of energy prices, which is in turn used to simulate the impacts of carbon pricing policy. We find that a U.S.-only $15 per ton CO2 price will cause competitiveness effects on the order of a 1.0 to 1.3 percent decline in production among the most energy-intensive manufacturing industries. This amounts to roughly one-third of the total impact of a carbon pricing policy on these firms' economic output.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp11-047.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp11-047
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  1. Grossman, G.M & Krueger, A.B., 1991. "Environmental Impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement," Papers 158, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. Vernon Henderson, 1995. "Effects of Air Quality Regulation," NBER Working Papers 5118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Josh Ederington, Arik Levinson & Jenny Minier, 2003. "Footlose and Pollution Free," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  4. Tim Jeppesen & John A. List & Henk Folmer, 2002. "Environmental Regulations and New Plant Location Decisions: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 19-49.
  5. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1998. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," NBER Working Papers 6707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Arik Levinson & M. Scott Taylor, 2004. "Unmasking the Pollution Haven Effect," NBER Working Papers 10629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert C. Feenstra, 1996. "U.S. Imports, 1972-1994: Data and Concordances," NBER Working Papers 5515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Pizer, William & Morgenstern, Richard & Shih, Jhih-Shyang, 1999. "Jobs Versus the Environment: An Industry-level Perspective," Discussion Papers dp-99-01-rev, Resources For the Future.
  9. Matthew E. Kahn & Erin T. Mansur, 2010. "How Do Energy Prices, and Labor and Environmental Regulations Affect Local Manufacturing Employment Dynamics? A Regression Discontinuity Approach," NBER Working Papers 16538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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