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Trade Liberalisation, Economic Growth and the Environment
New Horizons in Environmental Economics Series
This book analyses and quantifies the environmental impact of two closely related phenomena: economic growth and trade liberalisation. Previous work in this area tends to address only the impact of trade or economic growth on the environment, yet, as Matthew Cole shows, the two are inextricably linked.
A theoretical and historical background to the relationship between economic growth and the environment, coupled with the environmental impact of international trade, particularly as it has been applied through the GATT/WTO, provides the contextual framework for a detailed empirical analysis. In examining the environmental effects of economic growth and international trade, use is made of Environmental Kuznets Curves (EKCs) and improvements to traditional EKC methodology are suggested. Global policy implications are discussed and conclusions drawn.
An essential supplementary text for any undergraduate or postgraduate studying environmental economics, this book should appeal to researchers and policymakers in the field of international economic development as well as anyone with an interest in the global environment.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`. . . the book provides an admirable concise primer on environmental Kuznets curves (EKCs).' -- Paul Ekins, The Economic Journal `As someone who is instinctively sceptical of economics and economists, it was a pleasant surprise to read this book by an economist on such contentious issues as free trade, environmental degradation and economic growth which did not simply trumpet the orthodox and dominant "pro-globalisation" rhetoric and viewpoint.' -- John Barry, Organization and Environment `. . . this book provides a good insight into the complex relationship between trade liberalisation, economic growth and the environment. . . [the book's] great strength is that it is accessible to non-economists as well as students. It contains only a minimum of formalism and economic jargon throughout. It is rare that economists write books that can be understood by scholars and students from other fields, but Cole has certainly set an example in this respect.' -- Eric Neumayer, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning `. . . a useful book. . . I offers a clear and balanced summary of the existing literature. . . it is a worthwhile contribution and likely to be of interest to students, academics and policymakers.' -- - John Proops, Ecological Economics `As the recent controversy over the Seattle meeting of the WTO has shown, the issue of how trade liberalisation affects the environment remains highly contested and this book is therefore very timely. It provides an up-to-date summary of the debate over the links between trade and the environment and between economic growth and the environment, together with an excellent account of the post-war developments in international policy dealing with trade and environmental issues. Matthew Cole also provides an insightful empirical analysis of the links between growth and the environment, using a more extensive data set than earlier studies, and uses this analysis to assess the impact on the environment of the Uruguay Round of trade liberalisation. Drawing on this analysis he makes a number of proposals for how international agencies might better resolve disputes between trade liberalisation and environmental protection, addressing the issues currently on the agenda of the WTO. Written in a clear and non-technical style the book will be of benefit to policymakers and students wishing to understand the issues behind the current controversy.' -- Alistair Ulph, University of Southampton, UK `This timely book advances the debate about the impact of trade liberalisation on the environment in a balanced way. Cole pays particular attention to institutional settings (especially GATT and WTO), outlines divergent views about the relationship between trade and the environment and their historical evolution, empirically tests and reports on pertinent hypotheses, and draws major global policy conclusions. This book can be considered essential reading given ongoing processes of economic globalisation, attempts to accelerate these via the Washington Consensus, and the continuing development of WTO. It will become an integral part of contemporary debate about the relationship between trade liberalisation and the state of the environment.' -- Clem Tisdell, University of Queensland, Australia