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Environmental regulation of a global pollution externality in a bilateral trade framework: The case of global warming, China and the US


  • Gwatipedza, Johnson
  • Barbier, Edward B.


Bilateral trade and capital flows have increased substantially between the United States and China yielding economic gains to both countries. However, these beneficial bilateral relations also bring about global environmental consequences including greenhouse gas emissions. We develop a footloose capital model of international trade between the North (United States) and the South (China) in the presence of a global pollution externality. Each country's share of global pollution depends on its share of world capital. We show that, if the disutility of pollution in the United States is high, there will be pressure on the US to raise environmental regulations on industry. Capital will move to China. Because the increased pollution in China has global effects, the US may not benefit from the environmental restrictions and a joint regulation of pollution by both parties may be a preferred outcome. We also show that the implementation of differential control policies by the parties may also be optimal.

Suggested Citation

  • Gwatipedza, Johnson & Barbier, Edward B., 2013. "Environmental regulation of a global pollution externality in a bilateral trade framework: The case of global warming, China and the US," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-60, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201360

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Behrens, Kristian & Lamorgese, Andrea R. & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Tabuchi, Takatoshi, 2009. "Beyond the home market effect: Market size and specialization in a multi-country world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 259-265, November.
    2. Oates, Wallace E. & Schwab, Robert M., 1988. "Economic competition among jurisdictions: efficiency enhancing or distortion inducing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 333-354, April.
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    global pollution externality; agglomeration; environmental regulation; global warming; greenhouse gas emissions;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment

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