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Do Environmental Regulations Effect FDI Decisions? The Pollution Haven Hypothesis Revisited

Listed author(s):
  • Yoon, Haeyeon

    ()

    (Sogang University)

  • Heshmati, Almas

    ()

    (Jönköping University, Sogang University)

In an attempt to verify the pollution haven hypothesis, this study investigates the impact of environmental regulations on foreign direct investment (FDI). We use Korean outward FDI data covering the manufacturing sector for 2009-15. The study not only considers the stringency but also the enforcement of environmental regulations when measuring the degree of the host country's environmental regulations. Since the pollution haven's effects indicate moving the polluting production stages from the home country to other (host) countries, we distinguish between investments in the 'production' part from that in the non-production part using location information about the host country. The main results of the estimation of a FDI model show that the stricter the regulations in host countries in Asia the lower the FDI both intensively and extensively to those countries. This supports the prevalence of the effects of pollution havens. However, before we separate the FDI into the production part, the effect of environmental regulations on FDI is hindered by the FDI in the non-production part. The results indicate that environmental regulations are determinants of FDI in the production part, while environmental regulations do not have a significant effect on FDI decisions when the entire FDI is considered.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10897.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10897
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  1. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  2. Chen, Maggie Xiaoyang & Moore, Michael O., 2010. "Location decision of heterogeneous multinational firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 188-199, March.
  3. List, John A. & Co, Catherine Y., 2000. "The Effects of Environmental Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-20, July.
  4. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Harrison, Ann E., 2003. "Moving to greener pastures? Multinationals and the pollution haven hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-23, February.
  5. Cheng, Leonard K. & Kwan, Yum K., 2000. "What are the determinants of the location of foreign direct investment? The Chinese experience," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 379-400, August.
  6. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  7. Levinson, Arik, 1996. "Environmental regulations and manufacturers' location choices: Evidence from the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 5-29, October.
  8. Chung, Sunghoon, 2014. "Environmental regulation and foreign direct investment: Evidence from South Korea," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 222-236.
  9. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2009. "Firm heterogeneity and the structure of U.S. multinational activity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 206-215, July.
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