1887

OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Foreign Direct Investment and The Pollution Haven Hypothesis

Evidence from Listed Firms

Business has often been arguing against the introduction of a carbon tax because it would induce a pollution haven effect – reducing the competitiveness of domestic production and shifting both production and emissions to countries where fossil fuels are cheaper. In this paper, we shed light on such claims by estimating the effect of energy prices on one of the possible channels of the pollution haven effect - foreign direct investment (FDI). Using data for listed firms in 23 OECD countries, we find that the effect of higher domestic energy prices on firms’ outward stock of FDI has been significant and positive, but small in magnitude. This effect seems driven by more permanent shocks to energy prices, in particular by those coming from more stringent upstream environmental policies.

English

Keywords: FDI, environmental policies, pollution haven, energy prices
JEL: Q41: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Energy / Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices; Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environmental Economics: Government Policy; F21: International Economics / International Factor Movements and International Business / International Investment; Long-term Capital Movements
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