Trade Openness and Environmental Policy Stringency: Quantile Evidence

Dong Hyeon Kim, Shu Chin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The intensively debated issue of whether trade globalization leads to a race (climb) to the bottom (top) such that environmental policy stringency is loosened (strengthened) is still far from being uncontroversial. This paper provides new empirical evidence from the standpoint of the North (advanced) countries using both the generalized methods of moment (GMM) and GMM quantile estimators for dynamic panel data models. It first investigates the importance of trade partners and finds, in a sample of OECD countries, that increased trade with the South (developing) countries leads to more stringent environmental regulation whereas heightened trade with the North eases environmental regulation. It then examines whether there exist differences across regimes with different extents of stringency in environmental regulation and finds significant regime-specific effects. Specifically, liberalizing trade with the North weakens environmental regulation stringency in a regime with medium stringency but reinforces it in a regime with high and low stringency. Conversely, expanded trade with the South raises environmental regulation stringency in a regime with medium stringency but deteriorates it in a regime with high and low stringency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3590
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 1

Keywords

  • environmental policy stringency
  • quantile effect
  • trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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