Empirical Analysis of Associations between Trade and the Environment
This study investigates the prevailing theories about the effect of trade openness on environmental quality and resource management, providing new insights and empirical support to refute some of these theories. It builds on data collected through the Yale-Columbia 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), which covers 163 countries and an extensive database of trade-related measures from academic and international sources. Senior fellow Tanja Srebotnjak contributed statistical analyses to the study. It is available for download.
The study [pdf, 750 kB, English] shows that decision-making needs to move beyond the broad definitions of trade-openness and environmental performance and instead recognize the importance of a more refined interplay between international trade flows, liberalization policies, good governance and disaggregated environmental factors such as environmental health, ecosystem degradation and climate change. It find evidence that trade openness and economic growth can have both positive and negative empirical environmental associations.
Keywords: trade, environmental performance, trade openness, trade intensity, climate change, environmental health, ecosystem degradation, globalization
Citation: Emerson, John W.; Daniel C. Esty; Tanja Srebotnjak and Diana Connett 2011: Exploring Trade and the Environment: An Empirical Examination of Trade Openness and National Environmental Performance. Center for Environmental Law & Policy, Yale University, New Haven, CT, commissioned.
Authors: John W. Emerson, Daniel C. Esty, Tanja Srebotnjak, Diana Connett
Editors: Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy
Place (of publisher): New Haven, CT
Reference type: commissioned report
Price: free of charge
Table of contents:
- Existing Theories of Trade and the Environment
- Study Methodology
- Data Sources
- Data Exploration
- Adding Nuance to the Trade–Environment Relationship
- Trade Policy Effects and Environmental Performance
- Trade Flows and Environmental Performance
- Trade and Climate Change
- Fossil Fuel Subsidies
- Foreign Direct Investment and Expenditures on Information and Communication
- Trade Trends and Climate Change
- Future Research
- Data Profiles