Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Research paper review - "Globalisation and the Environment"

Time to catch up on all those unread papers. These are required reading over the next few weeks/months. At least this post is a permanent reminder of how much there is to do without using a tree or two to print them all out.

This first paper takes the pollution haven literature to the next level. A good analysis (and they cite us twice).

Have Countries with Lax Environmental Regulations a Comparative Advantage in Polluting Industries?
Date: 2007-04-24
By: Quiroga, Miguel
Sterner, Thomas
Persson, Martin

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-07-08&r=env[PDF]

We aim to study whether lax environmental regulations induce comparative advantages, causing the least-regulated countries to specialize in polluting industries. The study is based on Trefler and Zhu’s (2005) definition of the factor content of trade. For the econometrical analysis, we use a cross-section of 71 countries in 2000 to examine the net exports in the most polluting industries. We try to overcome three weaknesses in the empirical literature: the measurement of environmental endowments or environmental stringency, the possible endogeneity of the explanatory variables, and the influence of the industrial level of aggregation. As a result, we do find some evidence in favor of the pollution-haven effect. The exogeneity of the environmental endowments was rejected in several industries, and we also find that industrial aggregation matters.

Keywords: comparative advantage, environmental regulation, trade, pollution haven, Porter hypothesis
JEL: F18 Q56

This next paper is similar to a paper we published in ERE looking at convergence. The results of this paper are oppostite to our own. Their longer time series might have something to do with it but I am still a little dubious about thier results. Furthermore I want to know the answer to "why does converegence matter"?

Testing for Convergence in Carbon Dioxide Emissions Using a Century of Panel Data

Date: 2007-05-16
By: Westerlund, Joakim
Basher, Syed A.

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:3262&r=env[PDF]

This paper tests the convergence in per-capita carbon dioxide emissions for a collection of developed and developing countries using data spanning the period 1870 to 2002. For this purpose, three recently developed panel unit root tests that permit for dependence among the individual countries are employed. The results lend strong support in favor of convergence for the panel as a whole. Estimates of the speed of this convergence is also provided.

Keywords: Emissions convergence; Panel unit root tests; Common factors; Half-life.
JEL: C32 C33 Q54 Q28

An old favourite and a paper I may have blogged on before but not read yet (fully).

Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing

Date: 2007-08-02
By: Levinson, Arik (Georgetown University)

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-07-40&r=env [PDF]

Total pollution emitted by U.S. manufacturers declined over the past 30 years, even though manufacturing output increased. This improvement must result from one of two trends: (1) changes in production or abatement processes (“technology”); or (2) changes in the mix of goods manufactured in the United States, which itself may result from increased net imports of pollution-intensive goods (“international trade”). In this paper, I first show that most of the decline in pollution from U.S. manufacturing has been the result of changing technology instead of changes in the mix of goods produced, although the pace of that technology change has slowed over time. Second, I present evidence that increases in net imports of pollution-intensive goods are too small to explain more than about half of the pollution reductions from the changing mix of goods produced in the United States. Together, these two findings demonstrate that shifting polluting industries overseas has played at most a minor role in the cleanup of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

Keywords: pollution havens, trade and environment, pollution intensity
JEL: F18 D57 Q55 Q56

This paper needs to be looked at as it gets "wine" into the abstract as well as bubbles leading to an obvious joke. In a world of asset bubbles this may be a timely paper.

Bubbles in Prices of Exhaustible Resources

Date: 2007-08
By: Boyan Jovanovic

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13320&r=env [PDF]

Aside from the equilibrium that Hotelling (1931) displayed, his model of non-renewable resources also contains a continuum of bubble equilibria. In all the equilibria the price of the resource rises at the rate of interest. In a bubble equilibrium, however, the consumption of the resource peters out, and a positive fraction of the original stock continues to trade forever. And that may well be happening in the market for high-end Bordeaux wines.
JEL: E44 G12

An interesting application of biofuels to China.

Food Security and Biofuels Development: The Case of China

Date: 2007-10
By: Fengxia Dong (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)) (Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI))

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ias:cpaper:07-bp52&r=env

Biofuels production is expanding rapidly all over the world, driven by rising crude oil prices, the desire of countries to be energy independent, and concerns about climate change. As developed countries, especially the United States, are expanding biofuels production, developing countries are expanding their biofuels industries as well, to power their growing economies. However, developing countries must address the food security issue when they develop biofuels. As China is a developing country with rapid economic growth, population growth, significant demand for fuels, and food security concerns, it serves as a good example for studying the opportunities and challenges faced by developing countries under current conditions. This study analyzes the background, history, and current situation of biofuels development in China. Some implications for developing countries are also provided.

Keywords: biofuels, food security, China.

The following is a standard "globalisation" story using Swedish data from the Journal of International Economics written by my PhD supervisor and others.

Surviving globalisation

David Greenaway,
Joakim Gullstrand
and Richard Knellera


This paper investigates the effects of international trade on firms' strategies for industry exit, either via closedown, switching industry or being acquired. We use a rich dataset of Swedish firms that extends over two decades to track firm choices between alternative strategies. We find that higher levels of international competition increase the probability of exit by merger and closedown. If trade is more intra-industry in character, the effect of import penetration on the probability of exit is less. The probability of exit by switching industry is higher in revealed comparative disadvantage industries. Finally, we find that the geographical source of international competition is important, the effects of trade on exit being strongest when trading partners are other OECD countries.

1 comment:

Coy said...

I really do believe research papers like this could make a difference someday. It develops knowledge and vision of reality of which world concerns we really should be focusing on.