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Is environmental policy a secondary trade barrier? An empirical analysis

Josh Ederington and Jenny Minier

Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, 2003, vol. 36, issue 1, 137-154

Abstract: Abstract Should international trade agreements be extended to include negotiations over environmental policy? The answer depends on whether countries distort levels of environmental regulations as a secondary means of providing protection to domestic industries; our results suggest that they do. Previous studies of this relationship have treated the level of environmental regulation as exogenous, and found a negligible correlation between environmental regulation and trade flows. In contrast, we find that, when the level of environmental regulation is modelled as an endogenous variable, its estimated effect on trade flows is significantly higher than previously reported. JEL Classification: F1, F14, F18 Est‐ce que la politique environnementale est une barrière commerciale secondaire? Une analyse empirique Est‐ce que les accords commerciaux internationaux doivent être étendus pour couvrir la politique environnementale? La réponse dépend du degré de distorsion que les pays introduisent dans leur politique environnementale pour protéger leurs industries nationales. Nos résultats suggèrent que cet impact est important. Des études antérieures de cette relation ont traité la politique environnementale comme exogène, et ont montré qu’il existe une co‐relation négligeable entre politique environnementale et flux commerciaux. Au contraire, nous révélons que, quand la politique environnementale est considérée comme variable endogène, son effet sur les flux commerciaux est plus élevé de manière significative que ce qu’on a noté antérieurement.

Date: 2003
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