An empirical investigation of the pollution haven effect with strategic environment and trade policy

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Abstract

Using a new dataset on the stringency and enforcement of environmental policy, this study is the first to find robust confirmation of a pollution haven effect in a cross-country context by accounting for strategically determined environment, trade, and intellectual property right (IPR) policies. A simple game theoretic approach to policy determination is described which suggests an identification strategy based on other country characteristics. It is found that for the top 20th percentile of countries in terms of growth in U.S multinational affiliate value added, as much as 8.6% of that growth between 1999 and 2003 can be attributed to declining relative stringency and enforcement of environmental policy. The results are robust to a number of identification tests, weak IV tests, and third country spatial effects. Further, evidence is found that relatively 'footloose' industries are more likely to be affected by environmental policy than more traditionally 'dirty' industries and enforcement of environmental policies tends to be a more important deterrent than the stringency of the policy set.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-255
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of International Economics
Volume78
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

Keywords

  • Environmental policy
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Multinational firms
  • Pollution havens
  • Strategic trade policy

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