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Has trade liberalization created pollution havens in Latin America?

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Author: Jenkins, Rhys Owen UN symbol.: LC/G.2204-P p. 81-96 August 2003


This paper asks whether the recent trade liberalization in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico has led to increased transfer of polluting activities to Latin America. Using a factor content of trade approach, it shows that prior to liberalization, all three countries specialized in relatively pollution-intensive manufactures. Following liberalization, Argentina and Brazil have increased their specialization in such industries, while Mexico has moved in the opposite direction. It is suggested that these differences are a result of the structure of protection in the pre-liberalization period and the increased stringency of environmental enforcement in Mexico in the 1990s.

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CEPAL Review no.80


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