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Pollution and International Trade in Services

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Abstract

Two central topics in recent rounds of international trade negotiations have been environmental concerns, and services trade. While each is undoubtedly important, they are unrelated. In this paper I show that the services-environment link is small, for two reasons. First, services account for only a small fraction of overall pollution. For none of five major air pollutants does the service sector account for even four percent of total emissions; for three of the five services account for less than one percent. Second, those service industries that do pollute are the least likely to be traded internationally. Those services for which the U.S. collects and publishes international trade data - presumably those services that are traded internationally - are less polluting than services for which trade data do not exist - presumably because the services are not traded. Even if we limit attention to the services that are traded across borders, the service industries most intensively traded are the ones that pollute the least. The bottom line is simple. International services trade bears little relation to the environment, because services in general contribute relatively little to overall pollution, and those industries that are traded internationally are among the least polluting.

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  • Arik Levinson, 2009. "Pollution and International Trade in Services," Working Papers gueconwpa~09-09-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~09-09-04
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    1. Ederington Josh & Levinson Arik & Minier Jenny, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Pollution Havens," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-24, November.
    2. Runge, C. Ford, 1993. "Trade, Pollution And Environmental Protection," Staff Papers 14025, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
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    5. Arik Levinson, 2009. "Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from US Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2177-2192, December.
    6. Cole, Matthew A., 2004. "US environmental load displacement: examining consumption, regulations and the role of NAFTA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 439-450, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marianna Gilli & Giovanni Marin & Massimiliano Mazzanti & Francesco Nicolli, 2017. "Sustainable development and industrial development: manufacturing environmental performance, technology and consumption/production perspectives," Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 183-203, April.
    2. Hu, Hui & Xie, Nan & Fang, Debin & Zhang, Xiaoling, 2018. "The role of renewable energy consumption and commercial services trade in carbon dioxide reduction: Evidence from 25 developing countries," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 1229-1244.
    3. Roberta De Santis, 2012. "Impact of Environmental Regulations on Trade in the Main EU Countries: Conflict or Synergy?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(7), pages 799-815, July.
    4. Holladay, J. Scott & Mohsin, Mohammed & Pradhan, Shreekar, 2018. "Emissions leakage, environmental policy and trade frictions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 95-113.
    5. Bialek, Sylwia & Weichenrieder, Alfons J., 2015. "Do stringent environmental policies deter FDI? M&A versus Greenfi eld," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113179, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Cainelli, Giulio & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2013. "Environmental innovations in services: Manufacturing–services integration and policy transmissions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1595-1604.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    pollution havens; input-output; pollution intensity; TEAM;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • 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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