Concern for the Environment and Individual Attitudes Towards International Trade in Developing Countries

41 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2014

Date Written: July 3, 2014

Abstract

Many political leaders of the Global South oppose linkages between environmental standards and trade liberalization. We examine whether citizens in developing countries share this position. Whereas a recent study finds that in developed countries environmental concerns are associated with protectionist sentiments, we hypothesize that citizens in poor countries are likely to view the trade-environment nexus in a more positive light. We fielded a combination of surveys and conjoint experiments in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Vietnam to test this argument. The results show that respondents express concerns about negative implications of trade for the environment. However, individuals with greener preferences are also more supportive of trade liberalization. Furthermore, and in contrast to prevailing government rhetoric, the majority of respondents support environmental clauses in trade agreements. The main policy implication is that – irrespective of green protectionism rhetoric – there exists room for more ambitious efforts to include environmental standards in international trade agreements.

Suggested Citation

Bernauer, Thomas and Nguyen, Quynh, Concern for the Environment and Individual Attitudes Towards International Trade in Developing Countries (July 3, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462039 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2462039

Thomas Bernauer

ETH Zurich ( email )

Center for Comparative and International Studies
Building IFW, office 45.1, Haldeneggsteig 4
Zurich 8092, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 6466 (Phone)
+41 44 632 1289 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ib.ethz.ch

Quynh Nguyen (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich ( email )

Center for Comparative and International Studies
IFW, Haldeneggsteig 4, C43.1
Zürich, 8092
Switzerland

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
64
Abstract Views
510
rank
343,493
PlumX Metrics