Thursday, January 03, 2008

Does International Trade Shift Dirty Production to the Third World?

Economist Arik Levinson tries to answer the question: does international trade mean more pollution? Specifically:

Since the 1970s, US manufacturing output has risen by 70% but air pollution has fallen by 58%. Was this due to improved abatement technology or shifting dirty production abroad?

His answer:

The analyses here suggest that most the pollution reductions have come from improved technology, that the environmental concerns of antiglobalization protesters have been overblown, and that the pollution reduction achieved by US manufacturing will replicable by other countries in the future.

This morning's post is an FYI more than anything. Furthermore, I don't know that I'll have time today to think much about this or anything else. So, in lieu of analysis, I'm including a picture of a flying pig. Ponder Mr. Levinson's argument. Enjoy the pig.

PS. Please note also that the pig does not secretly represent any opinion of mine as to the quality of Mr. Levinson argument. It really is just a pig (in flight).


Ti-Guy said...

Although there is a lot of cross-over activism, anti-globalisation and environmentalism are two separate things. One focuses on the fairness of trade, on the benefits of that trade being fairly distributed and on economic sovereignty and the other is concerned about economic sustainability and/or environmental degradation. I'm not sure that this argument...

the environmental concerns of antiglobalization protesters have been overblown,

...isn't a strawman.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're putting even less thought than usual into your blog. I didn't think that was possible, but you've succeeded. Now you'll REALLY have a shot at Best Liberal Blog.

Anonymous said...

The pig really adds to it. I was going to skip over the article in my rss feed, but the pig drew me in.

Anonymous said...


in the same way that a university education "shifts" dirty jobs to the uneducated.

Why oh why can't big brother recreate reality!!!!!

Anonymous said...

RP Jr. practically slobbered all over these results. I suppose it's possible that the author took into account that it's the dirtiest industries that might have left. Let's see... maybe... oh I don't know... STEEL?!!!

Anonymous said...

So, are you anti-globalist xenophobes? Immigrant haters? Or is it just everybody outside of Canada that you hate?