IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/rff/dpaper/dp-07-40.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing

Author

Listed:
  • Levinson, Arik

    (Georgetown University)

Abstract

Total pollution emitted by U.S. manufacturers declined over the past 30 years, even though manufacturing output increased. This improvement must result from one of two trends: (1) changes in production or abatement processes (“technology”); or (2) changes in the mix of goods manufactured in the United States, which itself may result from increased net imports of pollution-intensive goods (“international trade”). In this paper, I first show that most of the decline in pollution from U.S. manufacturing has been the result of changing technology instead of changes in the mix of goods produced, although the pace of that technology change has slowed over time. Second, I present evidence that increases in net imports of pollution-intensive goods are too small to explain more than about half of the pollution reductions from the changing mix of goods produced in the United States. Together, these two findings demonstrate that shifting polluting industries overseas has played at most a minor role in the cleanup of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Levinson, Arik, 2007. "Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing," Discussion Papers dp-07-40, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-07-40
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/RFF-DP-07-40.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Turner, Karen & Lenzen, Manfred & Wiedmann, Thomas & Barrett, John, 2007. "Examining the global environmental impact of regional consumption activities -- Part 1: A technical note on combining input-output and ecological footprint analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 37-44, April.
    2. Ederington Josh & Levinson Arik & Minier Jenny, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Pollution Havens," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-24, November.
    3. Arik Levinson & M. Scott Taylor, 2008. "Unmasking The Pollution Haven Effect," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 223-254, February.
    4. Kahn, Matthew E., 2003. "The geography of US pollution intensive trade: evidence from 1958 to 1994," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 383-400, July.
    5. Hettige, Hemamala & Martin, Paul & Singh, Manjula & Wheeler,David R., 1995. "The industrial pollution projection system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1431, The World Bank.
    6. Koo, Anthony Y C, 1974. "Environmental Repercussions and Trade Theory," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(2), pages 235-244, May.
    7. Robert C. Feenstra, 1996. "U.S. Imports, 1972-1994: Data and Concordances," NBER Working Papers 5515, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. A. Rose, 1999. "Input–Output Structural Decomposition Analysis of Energy and the Environment," Chapters, in: Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh (ed.), Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics, chapter 75, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Robert C. Feenstra, 1997. "U.S. Exports, 1972-1994: With State Exports and Other U.S. Data," NBER Working Papers 5990, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hoekstra, Rutger & van den Bergh, Jeroen C. J. M., 2003. "Comparing structural decomposition analysis and index," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 39-64, January.
    11. Creason, Jared & Fisher, Michael & Semenova, Svetlana & Stone, Susan F., 2005. "The Environmental Impacts of Trade Liberalization: A Quantitative Analysis for the United States Using TEAM," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(1), pages 90-103, April.
    12. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2006. "Energy Conservation in the United States: Understanding its Role in Climate Policy," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0609, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    13. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2008. "An Empirical Analysis of Energy Intensity and Its Determinants at the State Level," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-26.
    14. Rutger Hoekstra & Jeroen van den Bergh, 2002. "Structural Decomposition Analysis of Physical Flows in the Economy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(3), pages 357-378, November.
    15. Cole, Matthew A., 2004. "US environmental load displacement: examining consumption, regulations and the role of NAFTA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 439-450, April.
    16. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Wiedmann, Thomas & Lenzen, Manfred & Turner, Karen & Barrett, John, 2007. "Examining the global environmental impact of regional consumption activities -- Part 2: Review of input-output models for the assessment of environmental impacts embodied in trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 15-26, February.
    18. Wier, Mette & Hasler, Berit, 1999. "Accounting for nitrogen in Denmark--a structural decomposition analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 317-331, August.
    19. Ang, B.W. & Zhang, F.Q., 2000. "A survey of index decomposition analysis in energy and environmental studies," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 1149-1176.
    20. Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti, 2006. "NAFTA and the Environment: What Can the Data Tell Us?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 605-633, April.
    21. Fare, Rolf, et al, 1989. "Multilateral Productivity Comparisons When Some Outputs Are Undesirable: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 90-98, February.
    22. Creason, Jared R. & Fisher, Michael & Semenova, Svetlana & Stone, Susan F., 2005. "The Environmental Impacts of Trade Liberalization: A Quantitative Analysis for the United States Using TEAM," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 1-14, April.
    23. Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 801.
    24. Thomas M. Selden & Anne S. Forrest & James E. Lockhart, 1999. "Analyzing the Reductions in U.S. Air Pollution Emissions: 1970 to 1990," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(1), pages 1-21.
    25. Leontief, Wassily, 1970. "Environmental Repercussions and the Economic Structure: An Input-Output Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(3), pages 262-271, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Claire Brunel, 2017. "Pollution Offshoring and Emission Reductions in EU and US Manufacturing," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 68(3), pages 621-641, November.
    2. Pasurka, Carl Jr., 2006. "Decomposing electric power plant emissions within a joint production framework," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 26-43, January.
    3. Weber, Christopher L., 2009. "Measuring structural change and energy use: Decomposition of the US economy from 1997 to 2002," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1561-1570, April.
    4. Cherniwchan, Jevan, 2017. "Trade liberalization and the environment: Evidence from NAFTA and U.S. manufacturing," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 130-149.
    5. Arik Levinson, 2010. "Pollution and international trade in services," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 93-105, June.
    6. Okushima, Shinichiro & Tamura, Makoto, 2011. "Identifying the sources of energy use change: Multiple calibration decomposition analysis and structural decomposition analysis," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 313-326.
    7. Erik Dietzenbacher & Jesper Stage, 2006. "Mixing oil and water? Using hybrid input-output tables in a Structural decomposition analysis," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 85-95.
    8. Roca, Jordi & Serrano, Monica, 2007. "Income growth and atmospheric pollution in Spain: An input-output approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 230-242, June.
    9. Joseph S. Shapiro & Reed Walker, 2018. "Why Is Pollution from US Manufacturing Declining? The Roles of Environmental Regulation, Productivity, and Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(12), pages 3814-3854, December.
    10. Zhao, Xiaoli & Li, Na & Ma, Chunbo, 2012. "Residential energy consumption in urban China: A decomposition analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 644-653.
    11. Tol, Richard S.J. & Pacala, Stephen W. & Socolow, Robert H., 2009. "Understanding Long-Term Energy Use and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in the USA," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 425-445, May.
    12. Douglas, Stratford & Nishioka, Shuichiro, 2012. "International differences in emissions intensity and emissions content of global trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 415-427.
    13. Tao, Zhining & Hewings, Geoffrey & Donaghy, Kieran, 2010. "An economic analysis of Midwestern US criteria pollutant emissions trends from 1970 to 2000," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1666-1674, June.
    14. Gilmartin, Michelle & Swales, Kim J. & Turner, Karen, 2008. "A comparison of results from MRIO and interregional computable general equilibrium (CGE) analyses of the impacts of a positive demand shock on the ‘CO2 trade balance’ between Scotland and the rest," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-24, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    15. Michael Schymura & Andreas Löschel, 2012. "Trade and the Environment: An Application of the WIOD Database," EcoMod2012 3948, EcoMod.
    16. Jean-Marie Grether & Nicole Andréa Mathys & Jaime de Melo, 2015. "Unravelling the Worldwide Pollution Haven Effect," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 23, pages 581-612, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    17. Michelle Gilmartin & Peter McGregor & Kim Swales & Karen Turner, 2009. "The added value from adopting a CGE approach to analyse changes in environmental trade balances," Working Papers 0903, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    18. Rutger Hoekstra & Jeroen van den Bergh, 2002. "Structural Decomposition Analysis of Physical Flows in the Economy," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(3), pages 357-378, November.
    19. Ederington Josh & Levinson Arik & Minier Jenny, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Pollution Havens," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-24, November.
    20. Arik Levinson, 2015. "A Direct Estimate of the Technique Effect: Changes in the Pollution Intensity of US Manufacturing, 1990-2008," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 43-56.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    pollution havens; trade and environment; pollution intensity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-07-40. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/degraus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Webmaster The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Webmaster to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/degraus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.