On the Pollution Content of China’s Trade: Clearing the Air?

University of Nottingham, GEP Research Paper 2009/19

36 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2009

See all articles by Chris Milner

Chris Milner

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Fangya Xu

University of Nottingham

Date Written: September 3, 2009

Abstract

This study compares alternative measures of the potential and actual pollution content of China’s trade using an environmental I-O methodology. Using the conventional, potential measure adopted by other researchers, we find that China ‘saves’ on local environmental resources by exporting goods that on average embody less pollution content than imports would if they were produced locally in China. A less positive, assessment of the environmental impact of China’s trade emerges, however, if the assumption of a common technology for producing exports and imports is dropped. Using an actual pollution content methodology for measuring the pollutants embodied in the production of both exports and imports, we find that China is actually a net exporter of embodied pollutants.

Keywords: trade, pollution content, China

JEL Classification: F18, Q56

Suggested Citation

Milner, Chris and Xu, Fangya, On the Pollution Content of China’s Trade: Clearing the Air? (September 3, 2009). University of Nottingham, GEP Research Paper 2009/19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1467567 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1467567

Chris Milner (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Fangya Xu

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

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