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Richer and cleaner - at others' expense?

Pollution intensive production can be avoided domestically by increased imports and less exports of dirty products. Such trade effects may imply more emissions abroad, or pollution leakages. We study whether such leakages may contribute to the observed inverted relationship between emissions and economic growth - the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC). In our case, the rich, open Norwegian economy, we find little evidence for the hypothesis that pollution leakages contribute to explain the EKC. Despite an observed decoupling of emissions from economic growth over the past 20 years, there was no increase in pollution leakages over this period. Rather, emissions related to export increased far more than the foreign emissions embodied in import, implying reduced leakages. In future projections, we find a lower degree of decoupling than in the past, but no corresponding reductions in leakages. Instead, leakages increase. This conclusion is fairly invariant to assumptions about future climate policy.

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Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 477.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:477
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  1. Grossman, Gene M & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-77, May.
  2. Shafik, Nemat & Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit, 1992. "Economic growth and environmental quality : time series and cross-country evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 904, The World Bank.
  3. Grossman, G.M & Krueger, A.B., 1991. "Environmental Impacts of a North American Free Trade Agreement," Papers 158, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  4. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1994. "Environmental Quality and Development: Is There a Kuznets Curve for Air Pollution Emissions?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 147-162, September.
  5. Suri, Vivek & Chapman, Duane, 1998. "Economic growth, trade and energy: implications for the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 195-208, May.
  6. Bengt Kristrom & Pere Riera, 1996. "Is the income elasticity of environmental improvements less than one?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(1), pages 45-55, January.
  7. Annegrete Bruvoll & Taran Fæhn & Birger Strøm, 2003. "Quantifying Central Hypotheses on Environmental Kuznets Curves for a Rich Economy: A Computable General Equilibrium Study," Discussion Papers 341, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  8. Annegrete Bruvoll & Hege Medin, 2000. "Factoring the environmental Kuznets curve Evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 275, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  9. Mody, Ashoka & Roy, Subhendu & Wheeler, David & Dasgupta, Susmita, 1995. "Environmental regulation and development : a cross-country empirical analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1448, The World Bank.
  10. Muradian, Roldan & O'Connor, Martin & Martinez-Alier, Joan, 2002. "Embodied pollution in trade: estimating the 'environmental load displacement' of industrialised countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 51-67, April.
  11. Stina Hökby & Tore Söderqvist, 2003. "Elasticities of Demand and Willingness to Pay for Environmental Services in Sweden," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(3), pages 361-383, November.
  12. Steigum, E.Jr., 1992. "Accounting for Long-Run Effects of Fiscal Policy by Means of Computable Overlapping Generations Models," Papers 05-92, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  13. Friedl, Birgit & Getzner, Michael, 2003. "Determinants of CO2 emissions in a small open economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 133-148, April.
  14. Henry D. Jacoby & Richard S. Eckaus & A. Denny Ellerman & Ronald G. Prinn & David M. Reiner & Zili Yang, 1997. "CO2 Emissions Limits: Economic Adjustments and the Distribution of Burdens," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 31-58.
  15. Peter M. Garber, 1994. "Mexico-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262071525, June.
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