IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/3361.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trade, environmental regulations and the World Trade Organization : new empirical evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Busse, Matthias

Abstract

The paper empirically explores the linkages between environmental regulations and international trade flows. So far, empirical studies either have failed to find any close statistical relationship or have delivered questionable results due to data limitations. Using a comprehensive new database for environmental regulations across countries, a thorough empirical investigation of that linkage for 119 countries and five high-polluting industries is performed. No evidence is found to support the pollution hypothesis that industries facing above-average abatement costs with environmental regulations would prefer pollution havens and relocate their activities. The exception is iron and steel products, where a negative and statistically significant link is established, implying that higher compliance with international treaties and conventions and more stringent regulations are associated with reduced net exports. High-income countries, where environmental regulations are usually more stringent in comparison to middle or low income countries, have experienced a considerable decline in the export-import ratio of iron and steel products since the late 1970s. There is no clear evidence that national governments choose sub-optimal policies that result in insufficient regulations, so the case for environmental standards within the WTO framework is relatively weak.

Suggested Citation

  • Busse, Matthias, 2004. "Trade, environmental regulations and the World Trade Organization : new empirical evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3361, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3361
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2004/07/30/000009486_20040730113356/Rendered/PDF/3361wpstrade.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Randy Becker & Vernon Henderson, 2000. "Effects of Air Quality Regulations on Polluting Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 379-421, April.
    2. Jean-Marie Grether & Jaime de Melo, 2003. "Globalization and Dirty Industries: Do Pollution Havens Matter?," NBER Working Papers 9776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Eli Berman & Linda T. M. Bui, 2001. "Environmental Regulation And Productivity: Evidence From Oil Refineries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 498-510, August.
    4. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
    5. Maskus, Keith E. & Wilson, John S. & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2000. "Quantifying the impact of technical barriers to trade : a framework for analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2512, The World Bank.
    6. List, John A. & Co, Catherine Y., 2000. "The Effects of Environmental Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-20, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Wolfgang Keller & Arik Levinson, 2002. "Pollution Abatement Costs and Foreign Direct Investment Inflows to U.S. States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 691-703, November.
    9. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2004. "Trade, Growth, and the Environment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 7-71, March.
    10. Levinson, Arik, 2003. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 56(1), pages 91-106, March.
    11. Steven Suranovic, 2002. "International Labour and Environmental Standards Agreements: Is This Fair Trade?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(2), pages 231-245, February.
    12. Xinpeng Xu, 2000. "International Trade and Environmental Regulation: Time Series Evidence and Cross Section Test," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(3), pages 233-257, November.
    13. 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.
    14. World Bank, 2001. "Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries 2001," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14779.
    15. Arik Levinson, 1999. "State Taxes and Interstate Hazardous Waste Shipments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 666-677, June.
    16. 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.
    17. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 1994. "North-South Trade and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 755-787.
    18. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    19. Wilson,John S.*Tsunehiro Otsuki*Sewadeh, Mirvat, 2002. "Dirty exports and environmental regulation : do standards matter to trade?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2806, The World Bank.
    20. Magnus Lodefalk & John Whalley, 2002. "Reviewing Proposals for a World Environmental Organisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 601-617, May.
    21. Muthukumara Mani & Per G. Fredriksson, 2002. "The Rule of Law and the Pattern of Environment Protection," IMF Working Papers 02/49, International Monetary Fund.
    22. Levinson, Arik, 1996. "Environmental regulations and manufacturers' location choices: Evidence from the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 5-29, October.
    23. Maskus, Keith E., 2002. "Regulatory standards in the WTO: Comparing intellectual property rights with competition policy, environmental protection, and core labor standards," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 135-152, July.
    24. Martin Jänicke & Manfred Binder & Harald Mönch, 1997. "‘Dirty industries’: Patterns of change in industrial countries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(4), pages 467-491, June.
    25. World Bank, 2003. "World Development Indicators 2003," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13920.
    26. Revesz, Richard L. & Stavins, Robert N., 2007. "Environmental Law," Handbook of Law and Economics, Elsevier.
    27. Tobey, James A, 1990. "The Effects of Domestic Environmental Policies on Patterns of World Trade: An Empirical Test," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 191-209.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Babool, Md. Ashfaqul Islam & Reed, Michael R., 2005. "International Competitiveness and Environmental Regulations," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19496, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Azam, Sardor, 2016. "Trade and Environment: Do Spatial Effects Matter?," MPRA Paper 73113, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2016.
    3. Colin Kirkpatrick & Kenichi Shimamoto, 2008. "The effect of environmental regulation on the locational choice of Japanese foreign direct investment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(11), pages 1399-1409.
    4. Medalla, Erlinda M. & Lazaro, Dorothea C., 2005. "Does Trade Lead to a Race to the Bottom in Environmental Standards? Another Look at the Issues," Discussion Papers DP 2005-23, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    5. Zhang, Kun & Zhang, Zong-Yong & Liang, Qiao-Mei, 2017. "An empirical analysis of the green paradox in China: From the perspective of fiscal decentralization," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 203-211.
    6. Yang Lu, 2010. "Do environmental regulations influence the competitiveness of pollution-intensive products?," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer;Higher Education Press, vol. 5(2), pages 276-298, June.

    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:wbk:wbrwps:3361. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.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 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.

    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.