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Are Exporters More Environmentally Friendly than Non-Exporters? Theory and Evidence

  • Cui, Jingbo
  • Lapan, Harvey
  • Moschini, GianCarlo

This paper studies the firm-level relationship between decision to export and environmental performance. To guide the empirical work, we introduce environmental pollution and technology choice into a trade model with heterogeneous firms. The model predicts that a productive firm is more likely to adopt emission-saving technology and to export. Using facility-level criteria air emission data in the U.S. manufacturing industry, for a variety of pollutants, empirical tests are supportive of our two primary theoretical predictions. First, facility productivity is negatively correlated with emission intensity, measured by emissions per value of sales. Second, conditional on the estimated facility productivity and the facility’s exposure to environmental regulation, exporters have lower emission per value of sales than non-exporters within the same industry.

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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/p15549-2012-10-12.pdf
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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 35549.

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Date of creation: 12 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:35549
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. Randy Becker, 2010. "Local Environmental Regulation and Plant-Level Productivity," Working Papers 10-30r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Aug 2011.
  2. Svetlana Batrakova & Ronald Davies, 2012. "Is there an environmental benefit to being an exporter? Evidence from firm-level data," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 449-474, September.
  3. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-40, February.
  4. MANAGI Shunsuke & HIBIKI Akira & TSURUMI Tetsuya, 2008. "Does Trade Liberalization Reduce Pollution Emissions?," Discussion papers 08013, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  5. Michael Greenstone, 2003. "Did the Clean Air Act Cause the Remarkable Decline in Sulfur Dioxide Concentrations?," Working Papers 0407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  6. Michael Greenstone & John A. List & Chad Syverson, 2012. "The Effects of Environmental Regulation on the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 18392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Randy A. Becker & J. Vernon Henderson, 2001. "Costs of Air Quality Regulation," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy, pages 159-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rikard Forslid & Toshihiro Okubo & Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe, 2014. "Why are Firms that Export Cleaner? International Trade and CO2 Emissions," CESifo Working Paper Series 4817, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Sourafel Girma & Aoife Hanley & Felix Tintelnot, 2008. "Exporting and the Environment: A New Look with Micro-Data," Kiel Working Papers 1423, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  10. Toshihiro Okubo, 2009. "Firm heterogeneity and Ricardian comparative advantage within and across sectors," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 533-559, March.
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