Globalization and the Environment

100 Pages Posted: 18 May 2021 Last revised: 9 Mar 2022

See all articles by Brian R. Copeland

Brian R. Copeland

University of British Columbia

Joseph S. Shapiro

University of California, Berkeley; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

M. Scott Taylor

University of Calgary - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2021


How should international economic policy address climate change? Does trade cause deforestation and endangered species depletion? How does globalization affect air and water pollution? Do trade and investment create a race to the bottom in environmental policy? How important are environmental impacts of transporting goods? We review theory and empirical work linking international trade and the environment with a focus on recent work and methods. We discuss the literature linking trade to local and global pollutants, the impact of emissions from transportation, the effect of trade on the sustainability of renewable resources, and the interaction between trade and climate policy. To shape our review, we present nine new stylized facts that, together with our review of past work, highlight questions for future research.

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Suggested Citation

Copeland, Brian and Shapiro, Joseph S. and Taylor, Michael Scott, Globalization and the Environment (May 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w28797, Available at SSRN:

Brian Copeland (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia ( email )

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Joseph S. Shapiro

University of California, Berkeley ( email )


National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Michael Scott Taylor

University of Calgary - Department of Economics ( email )

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Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4

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