This paper seeks to contribute to the unresolved issue of the effect of economic integration on environmental policy. In particular, we discuss the joint impact of trade openness and political uncertainty. Our theory predicts that the effect of trade integreation on the environment is conditional on the degree of political uncertainty. Trade integration raises the stringency of environmental policies, but the effect is reduced when the degree of political uncertainty is great. Political uncertainty has a positive effect on environmental policy as it reduces lobbying efforts. Applying our model to a unique data set of primarily developing countries, the empirical findings support the theory and are robust under alterntive specifications.
This paper reviews recent literature on the macroeconomic effects of environmental taxes. It attempts to delineate the conditions under which a cleaner environment is compatible with attaining macroeconomic objectives, such as more employment and economic growth. The analysis reveals that an environmentally motivated fiscal reform—using the revenues from environmental taxes to cut labor taxes—may yield employment and environmental dividends if the tax burden can be shifted to agents outside the labor market, such as capitalists, transfer recipients, and foreigners. A cleaner environment and a higher rate of economic growth go hand in hand if the environment is considered an important public input into production.
Microeconomic policies, dealing with individual industries and economic sectors, have traditionally addressed environmental concerns, but increasingly the environment is being viewed in terms of the macro economy. To improve its understanding of the interrelationship between macroeconomics and the environment, the IMF held a seminar in May 1995 at which recognized experts from academic and research institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and staff from the World Bank and the IMF shared their views on how macroeconomic policies affect the environment and how environmental policies affect the macro economy. The present volume, edited by Ved P. Gandhi, contains the papers and proceedings of this seminar.