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Croissance, Commerce, IDE et leur impact sur l'Environnement : cas de l'Europe Centrale et Orientale et de la Communauté des Etats Indépendants

Abstract : It is often argued that the recent environmental performance of the countries in transition are less related to environmental policy reform than to the effects of the economic recession during the 1990's. Consequently, considering their recent economic growth and integration in the world economy, the increase in pollution would become inevitable, thus raising fears that these countries reach, or even exceed, the pollution levels of the late 1980's. This dissertation takes a new approach to analyzing the environmental consequences of the interactions between the reform of trade and investment policies, initiated with the transition process towards an open market economy, and the committed efforts for environmental protection in the transition countries. Using rigorous econometric techniques applied to a rich and original database on transition countries, we show that the transition towards the market economy associated with a fast integration in the world economy was relatively beneficial for the environment of these countries. The environmental progress observed in the countries in transition during the last decade of the 20th century was recorded as a result of a major industrial reorganization and, even more, due to a technical effect induced by a stricter environmental policy and some positive technological externalities of these countries' economic openness. Our results indicate that environmental progress is still realizable through environmental policy, provided that institutional quality of countries in transition converges to that of the European countries, for example. We show that the relationship between economic openness and environment is too complex to be summarized in a simple judgment - “good” or “bad”. In spite of the overall negative impact of trade openness on environment, found in this study for the case of transition countries, our results show that trade in environmental goods (EGs) can reduce air pollution. However, divergent effects are found for different EGs sub-categories and across pollutants (CO2, SO2). Hence, we highlight importance of making distinction between end-of-pipe products and clean technologies & products. Our study also underlines importance of considering indirect effects (in particular via income), which can be crucial in countries' decision to liberalize or not EGs' trade. A particular attention must be paid to the status of net importing country and the role of import tariffs' revenues. We also show that in order to increase trade in environmental goods, a first alternative to tariff reduction can be environmental policy harmonization across business partners. Finally, although the pollution haven hypothesis was validated for some countries in transition, fears for it are not justified overall. Indeed, according to our results, FDI in the manufacturing sectors seem to improve, through a pollution halo effect, the environmental quality in transition countries. We also show that countries with a too lenient environmental regulation would rather have interest to improve their environmental policy in order to attract FDI.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - 5:00:44 PM
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Natalia Zugravu. Croissance, Commerce, IDE et leur impact sur l'Environnement : cas de l'Europe Centrale et Orientale et de la Communauté des Etats Indépendants. Economies et finances. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2009. Français. ⟨tel-00450676⟩

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