IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bigger, Not Cleaner! Another Look at the Trade-Environment


  • Evangelina Dardati

    () (Economics Department, Universidad Alberto Hurtado)

  • Meryem Saygili

    (Department of Social Sciences, The University of Texas at Tyler)


In this paper, we use microdata from Chile to examine the relationship between export status and the environmental performance of firms. We proxy environmental performance by measures of emission intensity. We find that the correlation between export status and emission intensity depends on how the latter is measured. In particular, we find that export status is negatively correlated with emission intensity when we define emission intensity as emissions over sales, but it is uncorrelated when we use value added instead of sales. The difference between those two variables is that value added excludes the value of materials that the firm gets from other sources (outsourcing). Those intermediate inputs entail emissions that do not belong to the firm. Our data show that outsourcing is positively correlated with export status. Thus, using sales as an output measure overestimates firm activity, and, hence, exporters look cleaner than they actually are. We show, more formally, why the distinction between sales and value added is important, using a simple firm-level emission decomposition.

Suggested Citation

  • Evangelina Dardati & Meryem Saygili, 2019. "Bigger, Not Cleaner! Another Look at the Trade-Environment," ILADES-UAH Working Papers inv332, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv332

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Emission intensity; export status; foreign ownership; productivity; outsourcing.;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ila:ilades:inv332. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mauricio Tejada). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.