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Pollution Haven Hypothesis and the Role of Dirty Industries in Turkey’s Exports

Elif Akbostancı, G.İpek Tunç and Serap Türüt-Aşık

Pollution haven hypothesis argues that the industries that are highly pollution intensive i.e. dirty industries, have been migrating from developed economies to the developing world. It is argued that the environmental concerns of the developed economies caused them to enact strict environmental regulations, which have increased the cost of production of the dirty industries at home. On the other hand, the developing countries with their low wages and lax environmental regulations have been attractive alternative producers in these sectors. At the same time this migration is also beneficial for developing countries that are in need of financial resources for industrial development. Consequently, developing countries provide pollution havens for dirty industries. In this process while the dirty industries have been migrating to the developing countries, the developed countries also have become net importers of these sectors. In this study the pollution haven argument for Turkey, for 1994-1997 period is examined. The study focuses on the pollution haven hypothesis from trade perspective by looking at the manufacturing industry data at 4-digit ISIC detail by using the panel data approach. It is found that exports increase as the dirtiness of the industries increases, providing some evidence for the pollution haven hypothesis.

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