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Strategic Environmental Policy Under Free Trade with Transboundary Pollution

  • Sikdar, Shiva
  • Lapan, Harvey E.

We analyze the effects of free trade on environmental policies in a strategic setting with transboundary pollution. Trade liberalization can result in a race to the bottom in environmental outcomes, making both countries worse off. With command and control policies (quotas), there is no race to the bottom. However, with internationally tradable permits, unless pollution is a pure global public bad, there is a race to the bottom in environmental policy. In our model carbon leakage alone, and not a terms of trade motive, drives countries to relax domestic environmental policy. Quantity-based tools strictly welfare-dominate price-based tools under free trade.

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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/p3885-2008-05-01.pdf
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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12931.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12931
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Akihiko Yanase, 2007. "Dynamic Games of Environmental Policy in a Global Economy: Taxes versus Quotas," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 592-611, 08.
  2. Kazuharu Kiyono & Masahiro Okuno-Fujiwara, 2003. "Domestic and international strategic interactions in environment policy formation," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 613-633, 03.
  3. Ludema, R.D. & Wooton, I., 1992. "Cross-Border Externalities and trade Liberalization: The Strategic Control of Pollution," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9202, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  4. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2001. "Domestic Policies, National Sovereignty, And International Economic Institutions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 519-562, May.
  5. Rauscher, Michael, 2005. "International Trade, Foreign Investment, and the Environment," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1403-1456 Elsevier.
  6. Rauscher, Michael, 1997. "International Trade, Factor Movements, and the Environment," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290506, March.
  7. Markusen, James R., 1975. "International externalities and optimal tax structures," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 15-29, February.
  8. Arja H. Turunen-Red & Alan D. Woodland, 2004. "Multilateral Reforms of Trade and Environmental Policy," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 321-336, 08.
  9. Copeland, Brian R & Taylor, M Scott, 1995. "Trade and Transboundary Pollution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 716-37, September.
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