Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1032869
 
 

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Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing


Arik Levinson


Georgetown University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

November 2007

NBER Working Paper No. w13616

Abstract:     
Total pollution emitted by U.S. manufacturers declined over the past 30 years by about 60 percent, even though real manufacturing output increased 70 percent. This improvement must result from a combination of two trends: (1) changes in production or abatement processes ("technology"); or (2) changes in the mix of goods manufactured in the United States, which itself may result from increased net imports of pollution-intensive goods ("international trade"). I first show that most of the decline in pollution from U.S. manufacturing has been the result of changing technology, rather than changes in the mix of goods produced, although the pace of that technology change has slowed over time. Second, I present evidence that increases in net imports of pollution-intensive goods are too small to explain more than about half of the pollution reductions from the changing mix of goods produced in the United States. Together, these two findings demonstrate that shifting polluting industries overseas has played at most a minor role in the cleanup of U.S. manufacturing.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 39

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Date posted: November 27, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Levinson, Arik, Technology, International Trade, and Pollution from U.S. Manufacturing (November 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13616. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1032869

Contact Information

Arik M. Levinson (Contact Author)
Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )
Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-5571 (Phone)
202-687-6102 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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