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Did International Trade Become Dirtier in Developing Countries? On the Composition Effect of International Trade on the Environment

  • Yushi Yoshida

    ()

    (Faculty of Economics, Kyushu Sangyo University)

  • Satoshi Honma

    ()

    (Faculty of Economics, Kyushu Sangyo University)

Utilizing the world panel dataset for the pollution emission embedded in international trade for the period between 1988 and 2009, we investigated whether the composition of international trade of a country moved away from pollution-intensive industries as its income level rises. The empirical evidence suggests that the income levels of countries are negatively related to export pollution intensity, but we also find that income is negatively related to import pollution intensity. Thus, the composition effect of international trade on the environment is only consistent with the pollution haven hypothesis on the export side, which predicts that developing countries export more of dirtier industries and import more of cleaner industries after trade liberalization. Further investigation reveals that the lower-middle income countries experienced an increase in the pollution emission of exports and a decrease in the pollution emission of imports, whereas the countries in the lowest income group experienced increases in the pollution emission embodied in both exports and imports.

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File URL: http://www.ip.kyusan-u.ac.jp/keizai-kiyo/dp52.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011Dec
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Paper provided by Kyushu Sangyo University, Faculty of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 52.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kyu:dpaper:52
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  1. Ricardo A. López, 2005. "Trade and Growth: Reconciling the Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 623-648, 09.
  2. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2001. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 877-908, September.
  3. Cole, Matthew A. & Elliott, Robert J. R., 2003. "Determining the trade-environment composition effect: the role of capital, labor and environmental regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 363-383, November.
  4. Taran Fæhn & Annegrete Bruvoll, 2006. "Richer and cleaner - at others' expense?," Discussion Papers 477, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  5. Tobey, James A, 1990. "The Effects of Domestic Environmental Policies on Patterns of World Trade: An Empirical Test," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 191-209.
  6. Arik Levinson, 2006. "Unmasking the Pollution Haven Effect," Working Papers 2008-02, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 01 Jan 2008.
  7. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Is Trade Good or Bad for the Environment? Sorting Out the Causality," NBER Working Papers 9201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Josh Ederington, 2005. "Trade Liberalization And Pollution Havens," Working Papers id:51, eSocialSciences.
  9. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
  10. MANAGI Shunsuke & HIBIKI Akira & TSURUMI Tetsuya, 2008. "Does Trade Liberalization Reduce Pollution Emissions?," Discussion papers 08013, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  11. Cave, Lisa A. & Blomquist, Glenn C., 2008. "Environmental policy in the European Union: Fostering the development of pollution havens?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 253-261, April.
  12. Honma, Satoshi & Yoshida, Yushi, 2014. "An Account of Pollution Emission Embodied in Global Trade: PGT1 and PGT2 Database," MPRA Paper 57489, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Muradian, Roldan & O'Connor, Martin & Martinez-Alier, Joan, 2002. "Embodied pollution in trade: estimating the 'environmental load displacement' of industrialised countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 51-67, April.
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