Agglomeration effects in foreign direct investment and the pollution haven hypothesis
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Does environmental regulation impair international competitiveness of pollution-intensive industries to the extent that they relocate to countries with less stringent regulation, turning those countries into "pollution havens"? We test this hypothesis using panel data on outward foreign direct investment (FDI) flows of various industries in the German manufacturing sector and account for several econometric issues that have been ignored in previous studies. Most importantly, we demonstrate that externalities associated with FDI agglomeration can bias estimates away from finding a pollution haven effect if omitted from the analysis. We include the stock of inward FDI as a proxy for agglomeration and employ a GMM estimator to control for endogenous time-varying determinants of FDI flows. Furthermore, we propose a difference estimator based on the least polluting industry to break the possible correlation between environmental regulatory stringency and unobservable attributes of FDI recipients in the cross-section. When accounting for these issues we find robust evidence of a pollution haven effect for the chemical industry. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1007/s10640-008-9236-6
Publication InfoTimmins, Christopher D; & Wagner, UJ (2009). Agglomeration effects in foreign direct investment and the pollution haven hypothesis. Environmental and Resource Economics, 43(2). pp. 231-256. 10.1007/s10640-008-9236-6. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/2059.
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Professor of Economics
Christopher D. Timmins is a Professor in the Department of Economics at Duke University, with a secondary appointment in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. He holds a BSFS degree from Georgetown University and a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. Professor Timmins was an Assistant Professor in the Yale Department of Economics before joining the faculty at Duke in 2004. His professional activities include teaching, research, and editorial responsibilities. Professor Timmi