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Transboundary Pollution, Trade Liberalization, and Environmental Taxes

Listed author(s):
  • Baksi, S.
  • Ray Chaudhuri, A.

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

In a bilateral trade framework, we examine the impact of tari¤ reduction on the op- timal pollution tax and social welfare when pollution is transboundary. Strategic considerations lead countries to distort their pollution tax in the non-cooperative equilibrium. Trade liberalization changes the distortion, and consequently the pol- lution tax and welfare, in ways that depend on the extent to which pollution is transboundary. We find that when the pollution damage parameter is sufficiently small (large), bilateral tariff reduction always decreases (increases) the pollution tax, irrespective of the value of the transboundary pollution parameter. However, when the pollution damage parameter takes intermediate values, bilateral tari¤ reduction decreases the pollution tax if and only if the transboundary pollution parameter is sufficiently large (or even sufficiently small, in certain cases). More- over, with pollution being transboundary, the impact of trade liberalization on welfare is non-monotonic and concave. The greater the extent to which pollution crosses borders, the more likely is trade liberalization to reduce welfare.

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File URL: https://pure.uvt.nl/portal/files/1028186/2008-78.pdf
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Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2008-78.

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Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:74de1971-0381-495c-8d47-5ea6f2ad4504
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

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  1. Copeland, Brian R. & Taylor, M. Scott, 1999. "Trade, spatial separation, and the environment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 137-168, February.
  2. Krutilla, Kerry, 1991. "Environmental regulation in an open economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 127-142, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Josh Ederington & Jenny Minier, 2003. "Is environmental policy a secondary trade barrier? An empirical analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(1), pages 137-154, February.
  5. Burguet, Roberto & Sempere, Jaume, 2003. "Trade liberalization, environmental policy, and welfare," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 25-37, July.
  6. Benarroch, Michael & Thille, Henry, 2001. "Transboundary pollution and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 139-159, October.
  7. Werner Antweiler & Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2001. "Is Free Trade Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 877-908, September.
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