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Trade Liberalization and Economic Degradation

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This thesis looks at the theory and empirical evidence that surrounds the debate between environmentalists and economists regarding the link between trade liberalization and environmental degradation. The main points of

This thesis looks at the theory and empirical evidence that surrounds the debate between environmentalists and economists regarding the link between trade liberalization and environmental degradation. The main points of the theory are the scale, composition, and technique effects which, when aggregated, are ambiguous as the harm or benefit of trade's effect on the environment. The empirical evidence studied ranges in time periods from the early 1990s to 2011 and mainly focuses on the existence or absence of an environmental Kuznets curve for certain pollutant. However, the data still proves to be inconclusive. The debate about the possible link between trade and the environment is as important as ever, especially in regards to carbon dioxide emissions. Going forward, it is extremely important that international cooperation regarding emissions targets and abatement goals increases. Trade will prove to be an invaluable tool in this endeavor as it provides a mechanism for the spread of green technology as well as can be used as a method of environmental policy enforcement.

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  • 2016-05