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Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Jeffrey A. Frankel
James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth
phone: (617)496-3834
fax: (617)496-5747
Is Trade Good or Bad for the Environment? Sorting Out the Causality.
Frankel, Jeffrey A., and Andrew K. Rose. "Is Trade Good or Bad for the Environment? Sorting Out the Causality." KSG Faculty Research Working Papers Series RWP03-038, September 2003.
Abstract
We seek to contribute to the debate over globalization and the environment by asking: What is the effect of trade on a country's environment, for a given level of GDP? We take specific account of the endogeneity of trade, using exogenous geographic determinants of trade as instrumental variables. We find that trade tends to reduce three measures of air pollution. Statistical significance is high for concentrations of SO2 , moderate for NO2 , and lacking for particulate matter. While results for other environmental measures are not as encouraging, there is little evidence that trade has a detrimental effect on the environment.
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