On international environmental policy and trade linkage: the importance of trade ties and market structure in determining the nature of international cooperation
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This thesis extends the literature on trade-linked international environmental policy by quantifying the effects of collective taxes on polluting intermediate inputs under varying trade, market structure and labour market assumptions. Using a CGE model augmented to include emissions from intermediate inputs, I simulate the effects of coordinated and harmonized environmental taxes on output, trade, and market structure. The main objectives are to ascertain whether free trade improves regulatory policy outcomes, and to demonstrate how market structure and the relative size of trading partners affect policy responses. To this end, I consider three cases: (a) asymmetric regions competing under perfect competition (b) asymmetric regions competing under imperfect competition and (c) symmetric regions competing under imperfect competition. Using Canada-EU and NAFTA-EU trade to represent asymmetric and symmetric trade ties, the results reveal the following: When regions are asymmetric, free trade unambiguously improves regulatory outcomes for the EU, but yields mixed results for Canada. In addition, regulatory costs are lower when trading partners are symmetric. However, free trade can result in perverse outcomes. For asymmetric regions, output and market structure changes are stronger under imperfect competition, and in the presence of real wage unemployment. Results also suggest that aggregate trade flows are not very sensitive to environmental taxes but are sensitive to changes in border taxes. Finally, welfare effects do not follow a predictable pattern because they partly depend on market structure changes.