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On The Pollution Content of China’s Trade: Clearing the Air?


  • Chris Milner
  • Fangya Xu


This study compares alternative measures of the potential and actual pollution content of China’s trade using an environmental I-O methodology. Using the conventional, potential measure adopted by other researchers, we find that China ‘saves’ on local environmental resources by exporting goods that on average embody less pollution content than imports would if they were produced locally in China. A less positive, assessment of the environmental impact of China’s trade emerges, however, if the assumption of a common technology for producing exports and imports is dropped. Using an actual pollution content methodology for measuring the pollutants embodied in the production of both exports and imports, we find that China is actually a net exporter of embodied pollutants.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Milner & Fangya Xu, "undated". "On The Pollution Content of China’s Trade: Clearing the Air?," Discussion Papers 09/19, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:09/19

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    14. Manuel Cabral & Rod E. Falvey & Chris R. Milner, 2006. "The Skill Content of Inter- and Intra-Industry Trade: Evidence for the United Kingdom," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(3), pages 546-566, October.
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    Trade; pollution content; China;


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