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Carbon Motivated Regional Trade Arrangements: Analytics and Simulations


  • Yan Dong
  • John Whalley


This paper presents both analytics and numerical simulation results relevant to proposals for carbon motivated regional trade agreements summarized in Dong & Whalley(2008). Unlike traditional regional trade agreements, by lowing tariffs on participant's low carbon emission goods and setting penalties on outsiders to force them to join such agreements , carbon motivated regional trade agreements reflect an effective merging of trade and climate change regimes, and are rising in profile as part of the post 2012 Copenhagen UNFCC negotiation. By adding country energy extraction cost functions, we develop a multi-region general equilibrium structure with endogenously determined energy supply. We calibrate our model to business as usual scenarios for the period 2006-2036. Our results show that carbon motivated regional agreements can reduce global emissions, but the effect is very small and even with penalty mechanisms used, the effects are still small. This supports the basic idea in our previous policy paper that trade policy is likely to be a relatively minor consideration in climate change containment.

Suggested Citation

  • Yan Dong & John Whalley, 2009. "Carbon Motivated Regional Trade Arrangements: Analytics and Simulations," NBER Working Papers 14880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14880
    Note: EEE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yan Dong & John Whalley, 2010. "Carbon, Trade Policy and Carbon Free Trade Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(9), pages 1073-1094, September.
    2. R. G. Lipsey & Kelvin Lancaster, 1956. "The General Theory of Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 11-32.
    3. Raymond RIEZMAN, 2013. "A 3 × 3 Model of Customs Unions," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 1, pages 7-20 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Kemfert, Claudia, 1998. "Estimated substitution elasticities of a nested CES production function approach for Germany," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 249-264, June.
    5. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
    6. Ben Lockwood & John Whalley, 2010. "Carbon-motivated Border Tax Adjustments: Old Wine in Green Bottles?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(6), pages 810-819, June.
    7. Bhattacharyya, Subhes C., 1996. "Applied general equilibrium models for energy studies: a survey," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 145-164, July.
    8. Cai, Yuezhou & Riezman, Raymond & Whalley, John, 2013. "International trade and the negotiability of global climate change agreements," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 421-427.
    9. Alan S. Manne & Richard G. Richels, 1999. "The Kyoto Protocol: A Cost-Effective Strategy for Meeting Environmental Objectives?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-23.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Zhong Xiang, 2012. "Competitiveness and Leakage Concerns and Border Carbon Adjustments," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 6(3), pages 225-287, December.
    2. Böhringer, Christoph & Fischer, Carolyn & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2014. "Cost-effective unilateral climate policy design: Size matters," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 318-339.
    3. Ling Tang & Qin Bao & ZhongXiang Zhang & Shouyang Wang, 2015. "Carbon-based border tax adjustments and China’s international trade: analysis based on a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 17(2), pages 329-360, April.
    4. Dong, Yan & Whalley, John, 2012. "Joint non-OPEC carbon taxes and the transfer of OPEC monopoly rents," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 49-63.
    5. repec:wsi:apjorx:v:34:y:2017:i:01:n:s0217595917400048 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Saibal Kar & Devleena Majumdar, 2016. "MFN Tariff Rates and Carbon Emission: Evidence from Lower-Middle-Income Countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(3), pages 493-510, July.
    7. Yan Dong & John Whalley, 2011. "Optimal tariff calculations in tariff games with climate change considerations," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(15), pages 1431-1435.
    8. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhongXiang & Wang, Shouyang, 2013. "Impacts of border carbon adjustments on China's sectoral emissions: Simulations with a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 77-94.
    9. Yan Dong & John Whalley, 2010. "Carbon, Trade Policy and Carbon Free Trade Areas," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(9), pages 1073-1094, September.
    10. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhingXiang & Qiao, Han & Wang, Shouyang, 2012. "Impact of Border Carbon Adjustments on China’s Sectoral Emissions: Simulations with a Dynamic Computable General Equilibirum Model," Working Papers 249391, Australian National University, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy.
    11. Yan Dong & John Whalley, 2009. "A Third Benefit of Joint Non-OPEC Carbon Taxes: Transferring OPEC Monopoly Rent," CESifo Working Paper Series 2741, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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