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Measuring Environmental Regulatory Stringency

Claire Brunel () and Arik Levinson ()

No 2013/5, OECD Trade and Environment Working Papers from OECD Publishing

Abstract: Researchers have long been interested in whether environmental regulations discourage investment, reduce labour demand, or alter patterns of international trade. But estimating those consequences of regulations requires devising a means of measuring their stringency empirically. While creating such a measure is often portrayed as a data-collection problem, we identify four fundamental conceptual obstacles, which we label multidimensionality, simultaneity, industrial composition, and capital vintage. We then describe the long history of attempts to measure environmental regulatory stringency, and assess their relative success in light of those obstacles. Finally, we propose a new measure of stringency that would be based on emissions data and could be constructed separately for different pollutants.

Keywords: environmental regulations; environmental subsidies; trade and environment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C26 C43 C83 D78 F18 F64 L51 Q52 Q53 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-ene, nep-env, nep-reg and nep-res
Date: 2013-08-22
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https://doi.org/10.1787/5k41t69f6f6d-en (text/html)

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