Environment

OECD Trade and Environment Working Papers

 

This series of papers, free to access and download, features OECD data and analysis on how trade affects the environment and how environmental concerns affect trade.

You can also consult our series of OECD Trade Policy Working Papers and follow the latest news on all trade-related working papers from across the OECD.

Latest paper:

Trade and Environment Working Paper 2013/05 

Measuring Environmental Regulatory Stringency

Claire Brunel and Arik Levinson

Researchers have long been interested in whether environmental regulations discourage investment, reduce labour demand, or alter patterns of international trade. But estimating those consequences of regulations requires devising a means of measuring their stringency empirically. While creating such a measure is often portrayed as a data-collection problem, we identify four fundamental conceptual obstacles, which we label multidimensionality, simultaneity, industrial composition, and capital vintage. We then describe the long history of attempts to measure environmental regulatory stringency, and assess their relative success in light of those obstacles. Finally, we propose a new measure of stringency that would be based on emissions data and could be constructed separately for different pollutants.

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