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The Stringency of Environmental Regulations and Trade in Environmental Goods

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  • Jehan Sauvage

    (OECD)

Abstract

This report assesses conceptually and empirically the extent to which the stringency of environmental regulations drives international trade in environmental goods. Many of the measures governments adopt to address issues such as local air and water pollution or GHG emissions take the form of regulations that aim to change the behaviour of firms or households. Compliance by private actors with those regulations in turn generates a growing market for environmental goods and services that is increasingly international in scope as more countries tighten their environmental regulations. Regulatory stringency thus spurs the development of a market for a whole range of equipment specifically meant for preventing and abating pollution, with important implications for international trade in such equipment. The different indicators of regulatory stringency considered in the present analysis generally support the notion that the stringency of environmental regulations positively affects countries’ specialisation in environmental products, even when considering specific sectors such as solid-waste management or wastewater treatment. While increased trade in environmental products is not an end in itself, the environmental benefits this entails can contribute to global improvements in environmental quality. By increasing demand for environmental products and technologies, environmental policy can complement trade policy in supporting pollution-reduction efforts not just domestically, but also abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Jehan Sauvage, 2014. "The Stringency of Environmental Regulations and Trade in Environmental Goods," OECD Trade and Environment Working Papers 2014/3, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:traaaa:2014/3-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jxrjn7xsnmq-en
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    Cited by:

    1. Thi Anh Dam & Markus Pasche & Niclas Werlich, 2017. "Trade Patterns and the Ecological Footprint - a theory-based Empirical Approach," Jena Economic Research Papers 2017-005, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Zugravu-Soilita, Natalia, 2017. "Trade in Environmental Goods: Empirical Exploration of Direct and Indirect Effects on Pollution by Country’s Trade Status," EIA: Climate Change: Economic Impacts and Adaptation 266287, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    3. Thais NUNEZ-ROCHA & Inmaculada MARTíNEZ-ZARZOSO, 2018. "Is National Environmental Legislation Affecting Emissions?," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2505, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    4. Morales-Lage, Rafael & Bengochea-Morancho, Aurelia & Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada, 2016. "Does environmental policy stringency foster innovation and productivity in OECD countries?," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 282, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparative advantage; environment; environmental goods; environmental regulations; solid waste management; trade; wastewater treatment;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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