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Foreign Direct Investment and the Choice of Environmental Policy

  • Paul Missios

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

  • Halis Murat Yildiz

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada)

  • Ida Ferrara

    ()

    (DEpartment of Economics, York University, Toronto, Canada)

We use a simple two-country oligopoly model of intra-industry trade to examine the implications of foreign direct investment for the pollution haven hypothesis and environmental policy. Countries which lower environmental standards to be more competitive in world markets generate pollution havens if environmental policy is exogenous. However, if FDI is a viable option as a mode of entry, profit-shifting considerations weaken in favour of environmental considerations and FDI recipients tighten environmental policy, reducing incentives to relocate production. Interestingly, when countries are sufficiently similar in their environmental awareness, "grey" countries can become greener than originally "green" countries but firms in the latter still engage in FDI in the former, in spite of the stricter standard they face, in order to level the playing field. We derive conditions under which FDI-receiving countries have incentives to manipulate their environmental standards to prevent or attract FDI, potentially eliminating or creating pollution havens.

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Paper provided by Ryerson University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 004.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rye:wpaper:wp004
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  14. Markusen, James R. & Morey, Edward R. & Olewiler, Nancy, 1995. "Competition in regional environmental policies when plant locations are endogenous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-77, January.
  15. Haddad, Mona & Harrison, Ann, 1993. "Are there positive spillovers from direct foreign investment? : Evidence from panel data for Morocco," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 51-74, October.
  16. Kahn Matthew E & Yoshino Yutaka, 2004. "Testing for Pollution Havens Inside and Outside of Regional Trading Blocs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-32, October.
  17. Kolstad, Charles D. & Xing, Yuqing, 1998. "Do Lax Environmental Regulations Attract Foreign Investment?," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt3268z4rx, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  18. Javorcik, Beata Smarzynska & Saggi, Kamal, 2004. "Technological asymmetry among foreign investors and mode of entry," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3196, The World Bank.
  19. Eskeland, Gunnar S. & Harrison, Ann E., 2003. "Moving to greener pastures? Multinationals and the pollution haven hypothesis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-23, February.
  20. Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Rent Destruction and the Political Viability of Free Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1475-1506.
  21. M. Kayalica & Sajal Lahiri, 2005. "Strategic Environmental Policies in the Presence of Foreign Direct Investment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 30(1), pages 1-21, January.
  22. Vinish Kathuria, 2000. "Productivity spillovers from technology transfer to Indian manufacturing firms," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 343-369, 04.
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  27. Ulph, A. & Valentini, L., 1997. "Plant location and strategic environmental policy with inter-sectoral linkages," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 363-383, November.
  28. Arik Levinson, 2000. "The Missing Pollution Haven Effect," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(4), pages 343-364, April.
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